Wednesday, September 05, 2007

White Lies and Promises

Who said the Minority Report was science fiction? Who said Britain's four million-camera "Ring of Steel" video surveillance system was enough? As Karen Carpenter once sang, "we've only just begun". Reuters reports:



The entire population of Britain -- and every visitor -- should be added to the national DNA database, a senior judge has argued.

Appeal Court judge, Lord Justice Stephen Sedley, said the database, which holds the DNA from millions of suspects and crime scenes, should be extended to all residents and even tourists, in the interests of fairness and crime prevention. "Where we are at the moment is indefensible," Sedley told BBC radio.

"Everybody, guilty or innocent, should expect their DNA to be on file for the absolutely rigorously restricted purpose of crime detection and prevention -- and no other purpose."

Maybe the real threat to civil liberties during this War on Terror comes not so much from people like George Bush or Dick Cheney so much as from the gentle, understanding, omnipresent, pervasive and suffocating state bureaucracies of semi-socialist regimes. Danger from Radical Islam will be not be fought. It will be regulated. For the sake of the children, of course. So forget Karen Carpenter. Maybe we should listen to Roberta Flack. "Killing me softly with your ..." Care. That would be the word. They're killing us softly with their care.

13 Comments:

Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

You and I are so on the same page. When one finds themselves between a rock and a hard place, though, it may be harder to be subtle.

9/05/2007 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Renico said...

I can't believe the British haven't descended on their leaders like villagers with pitchforks yet.

9/06/2007 04:05:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Killing Me Softly is a mystery/thriller about a young woman, Alice (Heather Graham), who finds her happy relationship with her boyfriend and comfortable job unsatisfying. She meets a handsome stranger, Adam (Joseph Fiennes). Becoming obsessed with Adam and his strange ways, she leaves her boyfriend. However, soon afterwards she learns that a serial killer is on the loose and begins to suspect Adam.

So Alice is Great Britain which rejected its comfortable relationship with America in order to flirt with unrestricted immigration by muslim jihadis which, it now suspects, may be bent on murder?

Interesting analogy!
:^)

9/06/2007 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 09/06/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

9/06/2007 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I can't believe the British haven't descended on their leaders like villagers with pitchforks yet.

The Real British are leaving the country, emigrating to Australia, South Africa, Canada and America; while Third World Arabs are pouring in uninterrupted at the other end of the country to replace them.

I don't know that there are enough British left any more who remember Churchill and WW2 to make a difference and reclaim their country.

9/06/2007 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

My backlink entries, such as this one today Subtlety and Threat, no longer show up on links below. Anyone here have any idea why?

9/06/2007 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Hope Muntz said...

Sigh. I've had this argument with so many people on so many blogs, and yet it never seems to get through to anyone: DNA testing is here to stay! It's just like fingerprinting was in 1900--and there was equal resistance to creating 'databases' of that technology, too, until after WWII when it became universal. Within a decade or two, all children will get swabbed either at birth or their first day in day care or school. So get over it!

The reasons why this scares ordinary Americans are pretty weird and unfathomable to me. I mean the obvious fear is that the database would be used for political rather than civil criminal purposes--but just how many 'political prisoners' are there, really and actually, in America (aside from Manuel Norriega maybe)? Let's get real. If it's getting busted for pot or cheating on your taxes you're really scared of, very few cases would be decided on the basis of DNA testing anyway. Murder and child paternity suits and rape cases now mostly include them already. So what's the big fear?

I think that deep within the American psyche there's this fantasy of always being able to walk away from your present life and start a new one all over again under a new name and identity. Makes sense, because ours was originally a colony of debtors and felons pretty much doing just that. But that ain't gonna happen any more anyway--it's just a movie-fueled daydream. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Or sign that mortgage. Or marry that bimbo. And if it's the shifting definition of crime you're worried about--start voting for candidates who promise strict Constitutional constructionism. Or--just declare yourself a citizen of Mexico and ignore all those darn laws.

9/06/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger mike said...

Somebody once said (no idea who mind you) something to the effect, "the cloud of fascism once again looms over America...but, somehow, as before, it seems to be descending upon Europe"

just so.

9/06/2007 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

DNA testing is here to stay! It's just like fingerprinting was in 1900--and there was equal resistance to creating 'databases' of that technology, too, until after WWII when it became universal. Within a decade or two, all children will get swabbed either at birth or their first day in day care or school. So get over it!

The difference is, DNA could (a la the movie Gattaca) be used regulate aspects of our lives wholly separate from criminal behavior. Fingerprints cannot be used in such a way.

It's apples & oranges.

9/06/2007 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

A not so hypothetical example, bureaucrats "leak" a sublist of people from the database who have a genetic marker for a genetic disease to insurance companies, and all of a sudden the people on that list can't get medical or life insurance.

Until credible safeguards are in place, DNA profiling without cause is going to be looked upon as dangerous.

And fingerprinting isn't universal, the only time I was ever fingerprinted was when I joined the military. I dare say that the majority of people in the US have never been fingerprinted.

9/06/2007 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger John B said...

"The entire population of Britain -- and every visitor -- should be added to the national DNA database .."

That'll do wonders for tourism I expect.

9/06/2007 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Some Federal jobs require fingerprinting, and I was also fingerprinted for a gaming license, so everyone in Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City has had it done, I would imagine.

9/06/2007 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Hope,

You're probably right. There is no more physical frontier. But, advances in technology often cutting both ways, there may always be a virtual frontier. Those are places where people create for themselves a technological bubble of ambiguity. We do it already with encryption, anonymizers, offshore servers, etc.

Ideally it should be a game between people and the state. The state invents a surveillance technology. The individual creates an antisurveillance technology. But the key is whether this game is allowed. I think it should be where there is no compelling interest in mandatory identification. I like the option, as you put it, of being able to go to Mexico. Not that I would do it, but just because I could. What would be truly worrying is if it became illegal to go to Mexico; that is, illegal to create your own virtual frontier.

And here, I think, the US is temperamentally better off than Europe. A healthy resistance to "paperz pliz" culture is good. But keeping some degree of freedom requires work. It always has.

9/06/2007 04:38:00 PM  

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