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Recent Noteworthy SCOTUS cases and verdicts
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The Final Dakar
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Mar 2, 2015, 03:16 PM
 
Just two things I wanna throw out in case nay one has thoughts.

First the silly one: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/26/us...atch.html?_r=0
A narrowly divided Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with a Florida fisherman, throwing out his conviction for tossing evidence — undersize grouper — back into the Gulf of Mexico under a federal law aimed mostly at white-collar crime.
In two opinions, five justices accepted Mr. Yates’s argument that fish were not the sort of tangible objects with which the law was concerned. Their analysis was based on a close reading of the words and structure of the law.
“Ordinarily,” she wrote, “a word’s usage accords with its dictionary definition. In law as in life, however, the same words, placed in different contexts, sometimes mean different things.”
In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the real issue in the case, Yates v. United States, No. 13-7451, was that the law is too harsh. It is, she wrote, “too broad and undifferentiated, with too-high maximum penalties, which give prosecutors too much leverage and sentencers too much discretion.”



“A fish is, of course, a discrete thing that possesses physical form,” Justice Kagan wrote, citing as authority the Dr. Seuss classic “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.”


Now, the more troubling one: Supreme Court gives tacit approval for government to take anybody’s DNA | Ars Technica
The Supreme Court on Monday let stand the conviction of a rapist whose prosecution rested on DNA swiped from the armrests of an interrogation-room chair.

Without comment, the justices refused to review a 4-3 decision from Maryland's top court that upheld the life sentence and conviction of Glenn Raynor. The dissent on the Maryland Court of Appeals said a probable-cause warrant was needed and painted a grim picture of the future:

The Majority’s approval of such police procedure means, in essence, that a person desiring to keep her DNA profile private, must conduct her public affairs in a hermetically sealed hazmat suit.... The Majority's holding means that a person can no longer vote, participate in a jury, or obtain a driver's license, without opening up his genetic material for state collection and codification.
In urging the high court to review the case, the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote that "allowing police the limitless ability to collect and search genetic material will usher in a future where DNA may be collected from any person at any time, entered into and checked against DNA databases, and used to conduct pervasive surveillance."
I wonder what happens if a lawyer for the accused starts brining lysol wipes to clean the interrogation room before his client leaves.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Mar 2, 2015, 04:31 PM
 
I can just picture it, Walking in and putting a tub of baby wipes on the table.
     
subego
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Mar 2, 2015, 08:12 PM
 
The tough part with the DNA ruling is the DNA in question was on police property.

Requiring a warrant to swab your own furniture is a little ridiculous.
     
Snow-i
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Mar 3, 2015, 05:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The tough part with the DNA ruling is the DNA in question was on police property.

Requiring a warrant to swab your own furniture is a little ridiculous.
Aye but you have a right not to incriminate yourself. Being forced to provide the cops with your DNA whatever the method would be doing just that. Any evidence collected by this is a 5th amendment violation, not a 4th.

Cops couldn't just get a warrant and do it the proper way, instead of licking their own chairs for DNA?
     
subego
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Mar 3, 2015, 07:41 AM
 
You're not being forced. You're allowed not to go to the police station unless you're under arrest. If you're under arrest, then they have PC.
( Last edited by subego; Mar 3, 2015 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Words and shit)
     
subego
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Mar 3, 2015, 09:38 AM
 
BTW... "licking their own chairs" is awesome.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Mar 3, 2015, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You're not being forced. You're allowed not to go to the police station unless you're under arrest. If you're under arrest, then they have PC.
Whats that debate technique were they are wrong no matter how they answer?

Not going with the police to get questioned is probable cause. Because you don't have the millions of dollars for the civil liberties lawsuit. Which BTW won't get you're DNA back out of their database.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 3, 2015, 11:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Aye but you have a right not to incriminate yourself.
Interesting way of framing it.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
You're allowed not to go to the police station unless you're under arrest. If you're under arrest, then they have PC.
That's a really strange way of wording it.

They're not allowed to take a cotton swab of your cheek unless you're ok with it, so I'm not sure why incidental DNA acquisition is ok, doubly so when its involuntary. I mean, they're not allowed to eavesdrop on you talking with your lawyer on their premises, right? This strikes me as an extension of that. They're eavesdropping on your DNA, to put it really poorly.
     
subego
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Mar 3, 2015, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
Whats that debate technique were they are wrong no matter how they answer?

Not going with the police to get questioned is probable cause. Because you don't have the millions of dollars for the civil liberties lawsuit. Which BTW won't get you're DNA back out of their database.
I'm almost positive this isn't the case. It unquestionably raises suspicion, but isn't grounds for a warrant.
     
subego
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Mar 3, 2015, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Interesting way of framing it.

That's a really strange way of wording it.

They're not allowed to take a cotton swab of your cheek unless you're ok with it, so I'm not sure why incidental DNA acquisition is ok, doubly so when its involuntary. I mean, they're not allowed to eavesdrop on you talking with your lawyer on their premises, right? This strikes me as an extension of that. They're eavesdropping on your DNA, to put it really poorly.
My understanding is they can take a cheek swab without your permission if you're under arrest.

Unless you're under arrest, you're voluntarily going to the police station. Since you can refuse, you are not required to put yourself in a position where they can access leftover DNA without a warrant.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 3, 2015, 12:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My understanding is they can take a cheek swab without your permission if you're under arrest.
If that's the case, I don't see any difference between the two. Though I would ask why they didn't do a cheek swab instead of waiting to get DNA from the chair.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Mar 3, 2015, 12:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm almost positive this isn't the case. It unquestionably raises suspicion, but isn't grounds for a warrant.
I agree. But they don't need a warrant, just probable cause. And arresting you and then releasing you without charging you with anything is a thing.
So after they handcuff you and chain you to a table, they let you go with an "apology." Then they can swab the table.

Or even easier, they act belligerent get you to raise your voice to them. Then they can frisk and handcuff you to make it safe for them to talk with you. Then after they let you go your prints/DNA are on the wall / car.
     
subego
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Mar 3, 2015, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
If that's the case, I don't see any difference between the two. Though I would ask why they didn't do a cheek swab instead of waiting to get DNA from the chair.
Was the person under arrest?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 3, 2015, 01:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Was the person under arrest?
Oh god. Well, my head is spinning.
     
subego
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Mar 3, 2015, 01:25 PM
 
If he was, then I clearly don't know what the **** I'm talking about.

I interpreted "after he left" from the article to mean it was voluntary. "After he was released" would make me think arrested.
     
subego
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Mar 3, 2015, 01:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
I agree. But they don't need a warrant, just probable cause. And arresting you and then releasing you without charging you with anything is a thing.
So after they handcuff you and chain you to a table, they let you go with an "apology." Then they can swab the table.

Or even easier, they act belligerent get you to raise your voice to them. Then they can frisk and handcuff you to make it safe for them to talk with you. Then after they let you go your prints/DNA are on the wall / car.
If they arrest you though, they don't need to swab the table.

I agree about spurious arrests being a thing, which would then give them leave to swab you.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Mar 3, 2015, 04:02 PM
 
Their friendly polite request, to leave the comfort of you're home or workplace right now and talk to them in their room with a tape recorder and one way glass, isn't really a request. If it was they would have called you and scheduled it.
     
Snow-i
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Mar 3, 2015, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You're not being forced. You're allowed not to go to the police station unless you're under arrest. If you're under arrest, then they have PC.
You're still mixing up your amendments.

PC gets them around a warrant (4th amendment), but even a warrant/subpoena does not negate the 5th amendment.

Simply arresting someone is also not in-it-of-itself probable cause for DNA collection (though there is no requirement from collecting it from a public place). There must be other evidence to constitute probable cause, which in accordance with the 4th should be presented to a judge to obtain a warrant. The only time the warrant requirement is supposed to be negated is when officer safety is in jeopardy, hardly the case in an interrogation room. The case-law for searching someone's person without a warrant is supposed to be for that officer safety only but evidence collected as a result is still admissible. In other words, the cops have no basis to search you in the interrogation room (including little bits of you that fall off). If you're forcing someone to come in, effectively or with the force of law, you should not be using that mere fact against them - it violates their right not to incriminate themselves forcefully.


I still don't see a reason why it's overly burdensome for the police to obtain a warrant to collect someone's DNA. If they cannot collect a warrant, they do not have the probable cause to do so (else they would). Regardless, placing someone under arrest then collecting their DNA as a result of that arrest/interrogation does infact run afoul of the 5th, as simply sitting in a chair is forcing you to provide evidence against yourself (again, a violation of the 5th).
     
Snow-i
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Mar 3, 2015, 04:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My understanding is they can take a cheek swab without your permission if you're under arrest.
My understanding is that they need a warrant to do so.

Unless you're under arrest, you're voluntarily going to the police station. Since you can refuse, you are not required to put yourself in a position where they can access leftover DNA without a warrant.
So the standard procedure, in this case, would be to not cooperate with the police until you're under arrest. I'm not sure thats the direction LE would want to go, as their is almost 0 benefit to ever cooperating with the police at that point, much less stepping foot inside a government facility.

Also, if you have your lawyer present and are alone with them for any amount of time, you could arguably say that the evidence collected is a violation of attorney client privelidge, as there's no way to tell whether the DNA collected fell off you during privileged time or not.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 3, 2015, 04:22 PM
 
     
reader50
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Mar 3, 2015, 04:43 PM
 
The story titles here are deceptive. The SCOTUS did not make any ruling here. They declined to take the appeal of the rapist, which does not prevent them from taking an appeal on DNA evidence collection in the future.

The appeal apparently came from a ruling of the Maryland Court of Appeals, which isn't a federal circuit. It also suggests the Maryland Supreme Court declined to take the appeal. It is not unusual for SCOTUS to decline appeals that haven't passed through all the intermediate courts.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 3, 2015, 04:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The story titles here are deceptive. The SCOTUS did not make any ruling here. They declined to take the appeal of the rapist, which does not prevent them from taking an appeal on DNA evidence collection in the future.
I did make sure to quote that in the OP.
     
reader50
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Mar 3, 2015, 05:10 PM
 
Agreed. I was referring to the story titles linked to, like that TheBlaze link. Bad journalism in action - the story title is outright false.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 3, 2015, 05:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Agreed. I was referring to the story titles linked to, like that TheBlaze link. Bad journalism in action - the story title is outright false.
The Blaze link cites a case from 2013. I posted because snow-i and subego have been going back and forth on whether a warrant is needed. The answer is no.
     
Snow-i
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Mar 3, 2015, 09:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
The Blaze link cites a case from 2013. I posted because snow-i and subego have been going back and forth on whether a warrant is needed. The answer is no.
I stand corrected, and abhorred.

What part of "secure in their person and property" do these assholes not understand? Did we just cross out the "secure in their person" part of the 4th? I understand the officer safety exception, but I'm struggling to come up with a situation where a citizen would be secure in their person in compliance with the 4th.

Not at home, not in public, not anywhere near the border....Are there any other places we peons can go where the Bill of Rights still applies?

This just reinforces the need for strong support for the 2nd. Orwell's vision really isn't all that far away, and if we want a free country there may come a day where we'll have to fight for it again. We'll probably lose.
( Last edited by Snow-i; Mar 3, 2015 at 10:06 PM. )
     
Snow-i
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Mar 3, 2015, 09:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The story titles here are deceptive. The SCOTUS did not make any ruling here. They declined to take the appeal of the rapist, which does not prevent them from taking an appeal on DNA evidence collection in the future.

The appeal apparently came from a ruling of the Maryland Court of Appeals, which isn't a federal circuit. It also suggests the Maryland Supreme Court declined to take the appeal. It is not unusual for SCOTUS to decline appeals that haven't passed through all the intermediate courts.
I was thinking that this issue is absolutely on the SCOTUS's minds, but perhaps this particular case wasn't well suited for them to rule one way or another as a standard of case law.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 4, 2015, 06:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
I stand corrected, and abhorred.
Reading the wiki, the (sigh) 5-4 split has an interesting breakdown.
The decision was close. Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, filed a scathing dissenting opinion. These justices maintained that "categorically" and "without exception", "[t]he Fourth Amendment forbids searching a person for evidence of a crime when there is no basis for believing the person is guilty of the crime or is in possession of incriminating evidence" 133 S.Ct. at 1980. But Supreme Court cases that seem to contradict this claim can be found
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
What part of "secure in their person and property" do these assholes not understand? Did we just cross out the "secure in their person" part of the 4th? I understand the officer safety exception, but I'm struggling to come up with a situation where a citizen would be secure in their person in compliance with the 4th.

So reading the above, here's my question – what's the difference between taking a fingerprint and taking DNA when booking someone? My knee-jerk is that it's more invasive, but I'm not sure I have a 'why'.
     
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Mar 4, 2015, 07:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Reading the wiki, the (sigh) 5-4 split has an interesting breakdown.
Yes, I do find that split quite interesting.




So reading the above, here's my question – what's the difference between taking a fingerprint and taking DNA when booking someone? My knee-jerk is that it's more invasive, but I'm not sure I have a 'why'.
At least to me, A fingerprint is more like taking a photograph of a feature of someone - you're not actually collecting any physical "evidence" (for lack of a better term), just taking a snapshot of what their fingerprint looks like. A DNA swab is actually removing and holding onto physical parts of their body. The only way a fingerprint would be a direct analogy is if they removed and kept the tip of your finger (or at least the top layers of skin).

I have no problem with a photograph, or imprint of their fingers as part of the arrest process for identification purposes. DNA is, at least IMO, a person's most sacred intellectual property to which the state has no right to collect without a warrant. Hell, with technology today you could get someone's finger print from a publicly taken photograph. Can't do that with DNA (at least not yet) .

To give you another analogy (involving one's house). A fingerprint would be more like taking a picture of the outside of the house from the street, where as a dna swab would be akin to the police entering your property and taking paint and soil samples from that house. Both methods can be used to identify the property in question, but one method would be protected under the 4th and the other would not.

Does that make sense?

I have a real hard time with the majority decision's reasoning being it's a "normal police procedure" What the **** does that mean? If the police started beating everyone they arrested mercilessly for no reason all the time, would the court rule that a "normal arrest procedure"? The question is whether or not that procedure violates the rights of the citizen in question, which the majority seems to have ignored in favor of a procedural norm. It's backwards, and undermines the very constitution the supreme court was installed to protect. I'll admit i didn't read the majority decision - just skimmed it so feel free to add on to my position.
( Last edited by Snow-i; Mar 4, 2015 at 08:02 PM. )
     
reader50
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Mar 4, 2015, 10:35 PM
 
I view it as a matter of how much information is collected. Just as searching one's cell phone meant little in the 1990s, but is hugely invasive today. Collecting a fingerprint set yields info that can be stored in less than 1 MB. Collecting a human genome is in the vicinity of 1 GB. A thousand times more invasive, and yielding intensely personal info.

They not only get a DNA fingerprint, they get info about your parents (who aren't suspects), info about your current and likely future health, allergy info, etc. Once computer simulation improves, they'll be able to extrapolate an exact physical description of you inside and out. Original hair and eye color, blood type, perhaps even personality inclinations.

Letting the ruling stand is a mistake even today, though I'll admit letting a rapist go free is not ideal. That assumes the police could not make the case by any other means. However, genetic privacy in the future is going to mean a lot more than it does now. The Supremes need to revisit this.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 5, 2015, 12:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
At least to me, A fingerprint is more like taking a photograph of a feature of someone - you're not actually collecting any physical "evidence" (for lack of a better term), just taking a snapshot of what their fingerprint looks like. A DNA swab is actually removing and holding onto physical parts of their body.
Interesting. I don't think I feel as strongly, seeing as we're talking about saliva. Every time you spit or sneeze, do you feel you've removed a physical part of your body? That the air or sidewalk is holding onto a physical part of you?

Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
The only way a fingerprint would be a direct analogy is if they removed and kept the tip of your finger (or at least the top layers of skin).
Or perhaps, cast a mold of said finger.

DNA can be reduced to data. No physical part required to be kept.

Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
DNA is, at least IMO, a person's most sacred intellectual property to which the state has no right to collect without a warrant.
I agree that DNA is fundamentally me. But what is it the state can do with my DNA that they can't do with a finger print? They have this more detailed information, but I'm having trouble seeing what the downside of them possessing this information is.


Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
To give you another analogy (involving one's house). A fingerprint would be more like taking a picture of the outside of the house from the street, where as a dna swab would be akin to the police entering your property and taking paint and soil samples from that house. Both methods can be used to identify the property in question, but one method would be protected under the 4th and the other would not.

Does that make sense?
Yes, it does.

Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
I have a real hard time with the majority decision's reasoning being it's a "normal police procedure" What the **** does that mean? If the police started beating everyone they arrested mercilessly for no reason all the time, would the court rule that a "normal arrest procedure"? The question is whether or not that procedure violates the rights of the citizen in question, which the majority seems to have ignored in favor of a procedural norm. It's backwards, and undermines the very constitution the supreme court was installed to protect. I'll admit i didn't read the majority decision - just skimmed it so feel free to add on to my position.
Replace normal with standard. Beating people is a red herring because we have laws against that. The fingerprinting is data collection for identification. DNA looks the same to me, only more detailed and less fallible.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 5, 2015, 12:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I view it as a matter of how much information is collected. Just as searching one's cell phone meant little in the 1990s, but is hugely invasive today. Collecting a fingerprint set yields info that can be stored in less than 1 MB. Collecting a human genome is in the vicinity of 1 GB. A thousand times more invasive, and yielding intensely personal info.
I don't think I can concede that the amount of space data takes up equates with how invasive that data is. How much space does an iris scan take up? Is that invasive? I imagine we can start pulling that from photographs, too.

Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Once computer simulation improves, they'll be able to extrapolate an exact physical description of you inside and out. Original hair and eye color, blood type, perhaps even personality inclinations.
This seems to highlight how limited of use fingerprints are. Worrying about hair and eye color being derived seems absurd in that they already record things like that when they take your fingerprints.

Being able to determine such things from DNA in the future doesn't frighten me too much – I imagine it'll help identify suspects better when they leave material behind at crime scenes.

Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
However, genetic privacy in the future is going to mean a lot more than it does now.
I'm certainly for genetic privacy in principle, but to convince me, I need to understand how the government can misuse the information.
     
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Mar 5, 2015, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I'm certainly for genetic privacy in principle, but to convince me, I need to understand how the government can misuse the information.
Should you fail to cooperate, concerned phone calls to your insurance companies? Or tricks the copyright trolls use, trying to coerce payments. Call your neighbors asking for sightings of file-sharing expressing concern that your emotional development shows an unusually high 0.1% chance of becoming a serial killer. Or just predisposition to kleptomania.

Suppose you've had your hair / eye / skin color changed. It could be related to your job - actor, or politician elected in particular neighborhood. Letting that info loose could leave you unemployed, or even targeted by angry former supporters.

If you're unmarried, a call to your girlfriend / boyfriend mentioning genetic flaws, and the elevated chance a baby will arrive with assorted issues.
     
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Mar 5, 2015, 07:08 PM
 
It's possible in the future, a sedative (or other drug) could be targeted at a specific genome. Where if they have a copy of your DNA, they could then disperse something airborne that will affect only you. That will attach to protein combinations on cells that statistically should only occur in one person.

So if your DNA is in their database, their crowd-dispersal gas will act like tear gas on anonymous protesters. The gas includes targeted sedatives against anyone they've found of interest before. The crowd runs, while all people they might be interested in snooze on the ground. You wake up in detention for further questioning. Assuming you don't get trampled.

Alternative: a targeted item that will turn your skin bright blue, and cause incessant sneezing until you surrender for the antidote. So if they ever want to find you, they mix up the targeted gas and disperse over population centers. Such tech removes anonymity, and lets them reach you inside your home. Almost regardless of where you live, if you've changed your name, etc. Things shouldn't be so easy for government.

In other words, their having your DNA on file without a warrant will cause changes in your future life.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 6, 2015, 11:08 AM
 
Not finding it convincing. So much of it is "In the future, technology might...."
     
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Mar 6, 2015, 11:59 AM
 
Here's what i'd do as an evil overlord. I'd create a standard for a swipeable id card and pressure the states to adopt it. Then I'd change all the security checkpoints at the airports, border crossings, federal buildings to require it. I use this to collect dna samples off all the cards. Then I pass a secret law in my secret court and make all the credit card readers embed a dna collector as well. I also include a spray dispenser in there. I use it to optionally dose a card with GMO cold viruses.

Now I have you're DNA. I can localize you even if you're using pre-paid cards. If I want to I can dose someone with the cold and then track who they come in contact with, including a rough timeline.
     
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Mar 6, 2015, 12:02 PM
 
So DNA instead of RFID? Seems there are easier ways.
     
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Mar 14, 2015, 08:44 AM
 
There is "collecting a DNA sample," and there is "USING a DNA sample." I can see "collecting" that sample just because one is in custody due to probable cause. The sticky part is whether they can use that sample once it's collected, and for what purpose.

Typical police use of DNA is identification, and it focuses on enough sequences to positively match one sample with another. It does not in any way "DNA profile" the sample. If typical practices were to be advanced to the point where anything beyond identification were part of the sample's use, then we'd need new SCOTUS rulings on that. "Mr. Jones, we see by your DNA that you are not in any way connected with the crime we were investigating, but it seems that your DNA matches certain markers for (insert your scary potential DNA misuse here), so we'll have to hold you until a court decides you're safe to release back into society." That's the scary part, IMO.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Snow-i
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Mar 16, 2015, 08:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Interesting. I don't think I feel as strongly, seeing as we're talking about saliva. Every time you spit or sneeze, do you feel you've removed a physical part of your body? That the air or sidewalk is holding onto a physical part of you?
No, but there are no implications to a sneeze or spit.

Or perhaps, cast a mold of said finger.
Still would not be analyzing the contents of my cells.

DNA can be reduced to data. No physical part required to be kept.
Maybe not permanently, but the process in order to reduce it to data is absolutely as intrusive as I've made it out to be.

I agree that DNA is fundamentally me. But what is it the state can do with my DNA that they can't do with a finger print?
Lots of things.

They have this more detailed information, but I'm having trouble seeing what the downside of them possessing this information is.
.

They'll be able to reconstruct every aspect of your physical being from your DNA, including behavioral predispotiions. If not today, then in the very near future.

It's a violation of HIPAA as well, as genetic information is the very definition of someone's medical history and future. Literally, the definition.

Replace normal with standard. Beating people is a red herring because we have laws against that. The fingerprinting is data collection for identification. DNA looks the same to me, only more detailed and less fallible.
Standard or normal makes no matter. We have a law against search and seizure but that hasn't stopped them to this point. I'm not sure how much more "secure in their persons" you can get than the genetic makeup of an individual. Or are we still wholesale ignoring the bill of rights?
     
Snow-i
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Mar 16, 2015, 08:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
There is "collecting a DNA sample," and there is "USING a DNA sample." I can see "collecting" that sample just because one is in custody due to probable cause. The sticky part is whether they can use that sample once it's collected, and for what purpose.
Once they've got it, they can do anything they want with it. After all, it is just a person's metadata.
Typical police use of DNA is identification, and it focuses on enough sequences to positively match one sample with another. It does not in any way "DNA profile" the sample.
And which law enforces this policy? What stops it from changing tomorrow (or anytime the government finds it convenient?)

If typical practices were to be advanced to the point where anything beyond identification were part of the sample's use, then we'd need new SCOTUS rulings on that.
Why is the precedent that the government gets to do what it wants until the supreme court knocks it down? When did we change the way our government is supposed to work?
"Mr. Jones, we see by your DNA that you are not in any way connected with the crime we were investigating, but it seems that your DNA matches certain markers for (insert your scary potential DNA misuse here), so we'll have to hold you until a court decides you're safe to release back into society." That's the scary part, IMO.
It's way, way, way beyond that.
     
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Mar 17, 2015, 09:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Once they've got it, they can do anything they want with it. After all, it is just a person's metadata.

And which law enforces this policy? What stops it from changing tomorrow (or anytime the government finds it convenient?)


Why is the precedent that the government gets to do what it wants until the supreme court knocks it down? When did we change the way our government is supposed to work?


It's way, way, way beyond that.
Once they have the sample, they MUST have a legitimate law enforcement purpose for using it. Use of DNA only for identification has a really strong "enforcement" system: anything else is MUCH more expensive to the law enforcement organization. The Supreme Court is (per the Constitution) the arbiter of where "the line" is between upholding and violating civil rights. So if law enforcement agency pushes hard and the individual they target is injured (even by their reputation being injured), that individual can (and SHOULD!) sue (cue ACLU here), which is how it goes to the SCOTUS.

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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 17, 2015, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Still would not be analyzing the contents of my cells.
They are not analyzing the contents of your sells. They are recording the sequence in which they occur.

Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Lots of things.
Great. Illuminate me.

Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
They'll be able to reconstruct every aspect of your physical being from your DNA, including behavioral predispotiions. If not today, then in the very near future.
See, this is why I'm not running scared. They can do stuff... someday.... maybe.

Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
genetic information is the very definition of someone's medical history and future. Literally, the definition.
No. DNA contains some information about genetic related illnesses but that is far from a full picture. I'm all for classifying it as private under HIPAA, but your constant hyperbole is really undermining your arguments.


Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Or are we still wholesale ignoring the bill of rights?
Much like todays modern armaments, the Bill of Rights is woefully inadequate for being a straight-forward guide on how to handle modern issues. At best we as a society properly classify these things by legislation through common sense and popular sentiment. At worst we go to the courts and hope some of our smartest legal scholars make the right call.

As I said, I have a definite problem with how they came about with their samples and support stronger privacy measures for DNA. But almost all the arguments I've seen put forth are based on possibilities in the future. I can't outright reject the opposing view based on unsubstantiated conjecture. I just can't.
     
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Mar 17, 2015, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
They are not analyzing the contents of your sells. They are recording the sequence in which they occur.
Which requires their analysis. I fail to see any distinction. The only analysis to be done on them is exactly that.
Great. Illuminate me.
Past & future medical implications, behavioral tendencies & profiling, Familial relationships, Age, Height, Eye Color, Hair Color, Skin Color, Skin Type, Sexual Orientation, Blood Type, and all kinds of other profiling data. The only constitutional protection we have to prevent the government from using any of this stuff is the 4th, which has been effectively struck down through gradual precedents and administrative laziness that ignore it's very plain, and very simple language and meaning.
See, this is why I'm not running scared. They can do stuff... someday.... maybe.
The NSA didn't teach you anything? The propagation of Stingrays? How many people said that on these very forums before Snowden traded his life in the US to bring illegal activities by our government to light. Had he not, we'd still be unaware of them. It's a tough bet to bank on another Snowden type situation should these issues arise again.

There's no maybe about any of this. Our technological advances continue on par with Moore's law, including great strides in what we can do with DNA beyond just identification. Creating a massive database full of everyone's DNA (including a large number of people who've committed no crimes whatsoever, or even have had charges filed against them) is irresponsible at best. Especially when there's no laws on the books that say the government can't use this information for whatever purpose, wherever they want, whenever they please.

It baffles me that you wouldn't consider future implications of this precedent, as it is unlikely to ever be changed. We aren't talking very far into the future, either.

No. DNA contains some information about genetic related illnesses but that is far from a full picture. I'm all for classifying it as private under HIPAA, but your constant hyperbole is really undermining your arguments.
I think you underestimate just how far our technology can and will take take us for good and for bad. I don't believe I'm being hyperbolic at all.

Much like todays modern armaments, the Bill of Rights is woefully inadequate for being a straight-forward guide on how to handle modern issues.
I disagree. I think it's very straightforward & simple until you start adding phantom "but(s)" to the ends of the amendments. Even in today's times.

At best we as a society properly classify these things by legislation through common sense and popular sentiment. At worst we go to the courts and hope some of our smartest legal scholars make the right call.
If only it were that easy. Special interest, Unions, and Lobbies have a huge impact on the entire process as well. As with anything valuable (the sanctity of our legal system), we must be vigilant in attempts to undermine and circumvent it. In an ideal world, you're right. But there's too much money and power in gaming the system for your view to be accurate. Don't underestimate human greed, it's a fundamental part of our nature despite it's social implications.

As I said, I have a definite problem with how they came about with their samples and support stronger privacy measures for DNA. But almost all the arguments I've seen put forth are based on possibilities in the future. I can't outright reject the opposing view based on unsubstantiated conjecture. I just can't.
What other arguments would you consider when determining a policy? It's awfully short sighted to create a precedent today that will surely stand for a long time (after all, precedent is the basis of our entire legal system) without analyzing the implications of the very near and near future. Once do you do it, you can't undo it. Just saying "it's good enough today" is exactly what got us the ineffectual legislative body that is our Congress, the wasteful monstrosity that is our health care system, the rampant fraud and abuse in our Medicare and Medicaid programs, the corruption in our legislatures and police departments, secret courts which allow the assassination of our own citizens, the military industrial complex as well as all those three letter organizations who operate above and outside the law in accordance with a secret court that lacks any kind of meaningful oversight. You underestimate our PD's potential for abuse where not explicitly forbidden by law, and in many cases even where it is.

The implications of allowing the state to gather and retain a person's DNA record without a warrant or judicial oversight of any kind has endless possibilities for abuse. To ignore obvious implications because they're (supposedly) a few years away is naive, and uses a circular logic that will undo the very fabric of what makes us a successful society (rule of law & above that the bill of rights).
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 19, 2015, 12:25 PM
 
This seems relevant – Parents Are Dying for the Option to Microchip Their Kids

Fair warning snow-i, I think I'm all but PLed out for long-form discussion this week. I might pick a few spots here or there but I'll try to return to our various convos next week.
     
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Mar 19, 2015, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Not finding it convincing. So much of it is "In the future, technology might...."
This approach is unwise. Government has shown a pattern of deploying new tools without asking our permission, or even admitting the new tools exist. Until the news leaks, after which the tools have become "entrenched" and are fought for.

Examples that we know of today:
• stingrays
• airplane-mounted stingrays
• GPS tracking modules stuck on private cars for long-term tracking (warrants finally required, but otherwise confirmed OK)
• routine cellphone location recording (via GPS or triangulation)
• collection of all call metadata
• collection of all phone calls (foreign country testing)
• plane-mounted high-res camera looking down on city persistently so any vehicle or person could be backtracked (has resolution probs at the moment, fixable with higher-cost camera)
• collection and keyword-filtering of all emails that pass through english-language countries.
• red light cams / speed cams. We knew about them, but they're typically passed without a public referendum, because the public always vetoes if a referendum is held.
• police use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) on any cars at gun shows. Apparently to gather IDs of suspicious people. Obvious extensions: scan license plates at political rallies (of any party you dislike), scan cars at any church you disapprove of. Or even music concerts, of young people listening to music you dislike. You know, because all these people are defective and may commit crimes eventually.
• persistent records retention of ALPR data.
• stitching together of retained ALPR data across the country, so anyone can be backtracked. Records kept indefinitely. (currently done by private ALPR company, not by government ... that we know of)

The pattern of deploy first, tell later (if at all) and fight to keep deployed tools means we never get asked for permission to give up a right. So to maintain what rights we still have, we need to defend against hypothetical uses. We won't know until later if they really were hypothetical today.
     
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Mar 19, 2015, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
This seems relevant – Parents Are Dying for the Option to Microchip Their Kids

Fair warning snow-i, I think I'm all but PLed out for long-form discussion this week. I might pick a few spots here or there but I'll try to return to our various convos next week.
No worries Dakar. I know I've been hard on you across all of our threads. I truly enjoy our discussions, and I hope that isn't lost in our debates.

Regarding your link, I think it's safe to say that the majority of citizens in this country are extremely uninformed when it comes to how their data can be used against them in our new digital age. Just think of all the successful scams and phishing attempts that these same parents fall for despite 10 years of warnings from the informed tech sector. The difference here is that parents are even more likely to trust the government than they are the emails that come through to their inbox, for better or worse.
     
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Mar 19, 2015, 04:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
This approach is unwise. Government has shown a pattern of deploying new tools without asking our permission, or even admitting the new tools exist. Until the news leaks, after which the tools have become "entrenched" and are fought for.


Examples that we know of today:
• stingrays
• airplane-mounted stingrays
• GPS tracking modules stuck on private cars for long-term tracking (warrants finally required, but otherwise confirmed OK)
• routine cellphone location recording (via GPS or triangulation)
• collection of all call metadata
• collection of all phone calls (foreign country testing)
• plane-mounted high-res camera looking down on city persistently so any vehicle or person could be backtracked (has resolution probs at the moment, fixable with higher-cost camera)
• collection and keyword-filtering of all emails that pass through english-language countries.
• red light cams / speed cams. We knew about them, but they're typically passed without a public referendum, because the public always vetoes if a referendum is held.
• police use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) on any cars at gun shows. Apparently to gather IDs of suspicious people. Obvious extensions: scan license plates at political rallies (of any party you dislike), scan cars at any church you disapprove of. Or even music concerts, of young people listening to music you dislike. You know, because all these people are defective and may commit crimes eventually.
• persistent records retention of ALPR data.
• stitching together of retained ALPR data across the country, so anyone can be backtracked. Records kept indefinitely. (currently done by private ALPR company, not by government ... that we know of)


The pattern of deploy first, tell later (if at all) and fight to keep deployed tools means we never get asked for permission to give up a right. So to maintain what rights we still have, we need to defend against hypothetical uses. We won't know until later if they really were hypothetical today.
Exactly! I would be more surprised if the government and our security apparatuses weren't working on ways to use DNA for all kinds of initiatives. I'd also be surprised if those clandestine programs hasn't already yielded tools and techniques to manipulate DNA data sets. As you said Reader, we'll never know unless there's another Snowden type situation or worse, the shit really hits the fan.

( Last edited by Snow-i; Mar 19, 2015 at 07:32 PM. Reason: Erroneously attributed Reader's post to Glenn. Long week :))
     
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Mar 20, 2015, 06:51 AM
 
I'd like to see some of this technology used in certain situations. For example, how hard is it to figure a car with Mexican license plates parked at a gun show isn't exactly kosher? (That really doesn't take technology to wonder about , but tracking the specific plate at various gun shows might be helpful.)

If every law enforcement organization behaved in such a way that almost all of us trusted almost every officer, none of this would be too terribly worrisome. But that just isn't so, and that's the real problem. I trust law enforcement organizations to be only as trustworthy as the politicos who run them, and that's a very bad thing...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Snow-i
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Mar 20, 2015, 08:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I'd like to see some of this technology used in certain situations. For example, how hard is it to figure a car with Mexican license plates parked at a gun show isn't exactly kosher? (That really doesn't take technology to wonder about , but tracking the specific plate at various gun shows might be helpful.)
That's where strong privacy protections for data retention would really make a difference. A scanned plate should not enter a database or be kept on record unless that plate is part of an active, ongoing criminal investigation.
If every law enforcement organization behaved in such a way that almost all of us trusted almost every officer, none of this would be too terribly worrisome. But that just isn't so, and that's the real problem. I trust law enforcement organizations to be only as trustworthy as the politicos who run them, and that's a very bad thing...
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Apr 22, 2015, 10:15 AM
 
Here's a good one! Supreme Court Curbs Police Drug-Sniffing Dogs In Routine Traffic Stops
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday placed a new limit on when police can use drug-sniffing dogs, ruling the dogs cannot be employed after a routine traffic stop has been completed if there is no reasonable suspicion about the presence of drugs in the vehicle.

The court ruled 6-3 in favor of a driver,
I.e., no fishing expeditions.

In an opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court held that a traffic stop lengthened purely to conduct a dog sniff without reasonable suspicion would violate the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy dissented.
No Scalia! Also, WTF Kennedy
     
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Apr 22, 2015, 10:24 AM
 
Scalia is pro-individual rights*, even when it's less than fashionable. He's the closest thing the court has to a capital "L" Libertarian. Also I think he's been hanging out with Ginsburg a lot.


*Abortions being the exception, of course, though he did say that he grudgingly supports them during the first trimester.
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