Posted by John Whitehead Posted on 21 August 2023

We’re All Suspects in a DNA Lineup, Waiting to be Matched with a Crime

“Make no mistake about it…your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason… I doubt that the proud men who wrote the charter of our liberties would have been so eager to open their mouths for royal inspection.”—Justice Antonin Scalia dissenting in Maryland v. King

Be warned: the DNA detectives are on the prowl.

Whatever skeletons may be lurking on your family tree or in your closet, whatever crimes you may have committed, whatever associations you may have with those on the government’s most wanted lists: the police state is determined to ferret them out.

In an age of overcriminalization, round-the-clock surveillance, and a police state eager to flex its muscles in a show of power, we are all guilty of some transgression or other.

No longer can we consider ourselves innocent until proven guilty.

Now we are all suspects in a DNA lineup waiting to be matched up with a crime.

Suspect State, meet the Genetic Panopticon.

DNA technology in the hands of government officials will complete our transition to a Surveillance State in which prison walls are disguised within the seemingly benevolent trappings of technological and scientific progress, national security and the need to guard against terrorists, pandemics, civil unrest, etc.

By accessing your DNA, the government will soon know everything else about you that they don’t already know: your family chart, your ancestry, what you look like, your health history, your inclination to follow orders or chart your own course, etc.

It’s getting harder to hide, even if you think you’ve got nothing to hide.

Armed with unprecedented access to DNA databases amassed by the FBI and ancestry website, as well as hospital newborn screening programs, police are using forensic genealogy, which allows police to match up an unknown suspect’s crime scene DNA with that of any family members in a genealogy database, to solve cold cases that have remained unsolved for decades.

As reported by The Intercept, forensic genetic genealogists are “combing through the genetic information of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in search of a perpetrator.”

By submitting your DNA to a genealogical database such as Ancestry and 23andMe, you’re giving the police access to the genetic makeup, relationships and health profiles of every relative—past, present and future—in your family, whether or not you or they ever agreed to be part of such a database.

Indeed, relying on a loophole in a commercial database called GEDmatch, genetic genealogists are able to sidestep privacy rules that allow people to opt out of sharing their genetic information with police. The end result? Police are now able to identify and target those very individuals who explicitly asked to keep their DNA results private.

In this way, merely choosing to exercise your right to privacy makes you a suspect and puts you in the police state’s crosshairs.

Read more: We’re All Suspects in a DNA Lineup, Waiting to be Matched with a Crime

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