Please begrudge me the quote from V for Vendetta, but I’m really starting to worry about what’s going on in the United Kingdom.
On Wednesday I wrote about the UK’s “Interception Modernisation Programme.” New rules under the program require wireless companies and internet service providers to archive phone records, web history, and emails for a period of 12 months, and to make that data available to 600+ government agencies without a warrant.
Naturally, the erosion of privacy was absolutely shocking, and I was sickened… at least until the next day when I read an even more disturbing story, also out of the UK.
Now the British government has announced that it is going to maintain DNA profiles of innocent people for ‘only’ six years.
You see, this is actually a shift in policy. Since being established in 1995, the government has built up it’s “National DNA Database” to over 4.7 million people, and it grows by 30,000 per month. This is about 7.6% of the population. Oh yeah, and it costs British taxpayers about $100 million/year.
How did the database get so large? The UK’s Criminal Justice Act of 2003 authorized DNA samples to be taken by police on everyone they arrest or detain… you don’t even have to be charged with a crime.
Without any consent whatsoever, police can take oral swabs, footwear impressions, fingerprints, and in some cases blood, urine, semen, and dental impressions.