US to set up DNA bank

US authorities have decided to begin collecting DNA samples from suspects detained by federal authorities, including hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.

US to set up DNA bank

The new rules, put in place by the US justice department in January, will make the practice of collecting DNA samples as routine as fingerprinting for anyone detained by federal agents.

 

Until now, federal authorities have taken DNA samples only from convicted criminals, but the new rules would allow a vast expansion of that practice.

 

Illegal immigrants will be the largest group affected by the policy change by far, said one US newspaper.

 

Authorisation

 

The new forensic DNA sampling was authorised by the US congress in January 2006 in a minor amendment to a bill that focused on violence against women.

 

Some civil liberties advocates, however, have called the rule intrusive and overreaching.

 

Caroline Fredrickson, legislative office director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said: "Wholesale DNA collection violates basic American values about our right to privacy.

 

"DNA is far more than a simple fingerprint.

 

"DNA testing reveals medical information about individuals and their families – and the practice of keeping these samples permanently is an open invitation to data mining," she said.

 

"Prosecution of rapists will be further delayed by this poorly conceived program.

 

"The huge backlog of rape kits waiting to be tested will continue to grow as the government collects DNA from hundreds of thousands or even millions of individuals arrested or detained."

 

However the law has strong support from organisations that represent victims of crime, and some women's groups, who say it will help law enforcement identify perpetrators of sexual abuse.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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