Timing couldn’t have been worse – with the Military Commissions Act of 2006 just signed out- the U.S. Dept. of Justice announced that the FBI has today awarded a contract to develop the NGCODIS (next-generation combined DNA index system) to a group of providers.
Unisys together with IBM, government service provider iSYS LLC and two US universities will provide the FBI with software development and operations services over the next two years.
The FBI expects that the Unisys solution will allow for …scalability and flexibility to meet increased demand… together with highly sophisticated search engine technology and to further enable the FBI to share information with federal, state and local labs.
The current system includes 178 participating national DNA labs (126 local and 52 state systems) including the FBI, the U.S. Army and Puerto Rico. Its database contains approximately 3.7 million offender profiles and 150,000 forensic profiles. Through August 2006, the existing CODIS system has aided 38,295 investigations in 49 states and two federal laboratories.
The new solution will be deployed to all U.S. labs and to crime labs in 26 countries.
While the CODIS system originally has been established to collect DNA information only about convicted sex offenders, its reach has long been extended and the push to expand continues. This includes (in some states) to take samples from almost everybody who is arrested as well as to do so called partial-match searches i.e. doing near-match searches with the DNA of relatives of criminals and non-relatives with similar DNA profiles.
With so many advances – believers – sorcerer apprentices - many of them surfacing again today and knowing that certain DNA defects can explain potential “behavior” i.e. guilty by birth, this is something that will have a reach into many people’s live – maybe not immediately but soon. You have to be a very strong believer that if something is stored in a government database it will disappear without a trace when law would require this – will it be deleted or just stored by another agency – lets say in/for times when national security is of high concern.
Never forget almost anywhere you go you making free DNA traces available to anyone with the right equipment. It
iswas just the law that protected you from official abuse (but not from doing it).
If thought through further in a new reversal of the burden of proof soon you might be guilty until you can prove otherwise – and you wont be able to – unless you or anybody else with a DNA lab proves you right in case those who want to prove you wrong would voluntarily provide you the evidence to do so.
While we neither want to insinuate or believe that any of the current participants is meaning ill – for common sense – just remember the old “slogan” of all secret and not-so-secret services around the world: what can be done will be done…
So something like this would, until recently had to comply with constitutional and other laws, always requiring accountability, control mechanisms and stop gaps but that all now is seemingly not required anymore.
P.S: Speculum justitiae – Mirror of justice – the term is potentially best known from the Litany of Loreto and Leopold Mozart setting it to music . You can listen to it at: Amazon – Speculum justitiae ora pro nobis –
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