Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 25 July 2004

Once your DNA gets taken by the state, they'll have it forever

It appears that if a DNA sample is taken by agents of the state (i.e. the Police), in connection with an offence which it is alleged you may have committed, it will not be destroyed even if no charges are ever brought against you or indeed you are found not guilty. This seems to be another case where the hoary old "You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide" argument is being used to try and justify what is in fact a monstrous extension of the power of the state over the individual. Obviously I am delighted that Big Brother wants to watch over me and the whole of society [not].

I was alerted to this alarming article in the Daily Telegraph (by the always excellent legal correspondent Joshua Rozenberg) by White Rose; my only excuse for not having read the article myself yet is that summer weather tends to make outside activities more attractive - another 'weakness' which the state (and our beloved New Labour government) is not slow to exploit. Even if Parliament has now risen for the summer recess, the state is still in the business of burying its steely talons deeper into our necks.

The catalogue of blunders revealed in this article in the Scotsman made by 'the authorities' when conducting telephone surveillance operations is yet another example of the extension of the power of the stae in what seems to be, in practical terms, a completely unchecked manner. As Simon Davies, of the watchdog group Privacy International, said:

"We already have grave reservations about the huge increase in this sort of snooping. When you realise they are making such basic errors, it makes you wonder how far you can trust them to do the job correctly, even if you do accept that they are doing it with the best of intentions."

As for the blunder when a police officer had his mobile 'phone bugged, surely he has nothing to hide, so should not be in any way concerned - it always brings such matters more sharply into focus when the person affected is one of the 'watchers', doesn't it?

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