DOJ Wants Your DNA; Unclear Whether Projectile Saliva Donation Will Be Permitted

Police in riot gear in St. Paul
2008 Political Conventions Report
September 1, 2008

Have you ever been arrested while protesting at the White House or in Congress? The next time you’re arrested,* the Justice Department wants federal police to harvest your DNA, and add it to their massive DNA database.* This outrageous proposal would add the genetic information of thousands of peaceful activists to the government database, which already contains over 6 million DNA profiles. Every profile added increases the chances of a false match, misuse of data and the power of big brother. That adds an unacceptable risk to our right to protest using civil disobedience.

Speak out now against the latest Bush Administration assault on our privacy. The deadline for comments is May 19 at 4 p.m. eastern.

The Justice Department is making this proposal as part of a rule for implementing the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005. The new rule would require federal agencies to:

· Collect DNA samples of _everyone_ arrested at the time of arrest (prior to conviction – that is, when you are still supposed to be considered innocent)

· Collect DNA samples of every non-citizen when detained by federal authorities (not arrested, charged or convicted, just detained!)

· /And/, the rule would allow private contractors to collect the DNA samples

You can easily file an electronic comment with the US Department of Justice – just click on ‘add comments’ on this filing page. Too busy to write your own comment? Add your organization’s name to this letter [link coming soon] — reply to me with your name and organization:

You can use these points in your comments:

· Innocent people do not belong in a criminal DNA database

· DNA is not a mere fingerprint – it contains sensitive medical information that should not be recklessly collected and stored by the government.

– Adding arrestees and immigrant detainees to the DNA database will vastly increase the number of innocent minorities in the database. Minorities are more likely to be wrongly arrested or detained than whites

· DNA profile matching is inexact, and it accuracy varies wildly based on a number of factors. The bigger the database is, the greater the odds are that innocent people will be implicated for crimes they did not commit. The database already contains 6 million profiles.

· Allowing the collection of DNA samples by third-parties will drastically increase the incidence of errors and outright abuse of private genetic information.