The Texas Department of Public Safety might as well be called the Texas Department of Public Invasiveness.They’ve launched a plan to fingerprint every single person of driving age in the state, after which they will add the person’s prints to the criminal database.
Is it just me or is that a rather Dystopian plan?
Jon Cassidy of Watchdog.org writes:
The credit for breaking the news on those two items goes to consumer affairs columnist Dave Lieber of the Dallas Morning News, whose long-running “Watchdog” column often shows up in my Google Alerts, for obvious reasons.Last month, Lieber broke the news that DPS had started collecting full sets of fingerprints on everyone who went in to renew their license.Lieber quotes an entire email from DPS spokesman Tom Vinger, who quotes Transportation Code Sec. 521.059 at length, including the key phrase, “The department shall establish an image verification system based on the following identifiers collected by the department: ….an applicant’s thumbprints or fingerprints.
So the gist of this is: if you don’t allow the “authorities” to take your prints and file them away in the event that you commit some heinous crime in the future, you won’t be issued a driver’s license in the state of Texas. This means you’d theoretically be unable to drive or get insurance, because you’d be unlicensed. If you can’t get insurance, it will be difficult to own a car.
This, of course, could affect your livelihood, your ability to get your kids to school, and myriad other day-to-day issues. I’m a big fan of opting out, but this makes it a lot more difficult for the average Joe or Josephine to do so.
Doesn’t this sound like a pre-crime system, gathering evidence for the potential day in the future when they wish to use a person’s cataloged prints to identify them? At the very least, it is an invasion of personal privacy that is being enforced by hindering one’s ability to travel freely.
Via Activist Post
In a major victory for law enforcement agencies(Read:Collection agents for the unofficial DNA database), the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that police can take a DNA sample from someone who has been arrested and charged but not convicted of a crime.
By a 5-4 vote the court reversed a decision last April by Maryland’s highest court that overturned the 2010 conviction and life sentence of Alonzo Jay King for a rape committed seven years earlier.
The court, in an opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, handed a victory to the state of Maryland by saying taking of DNA samples was similar to taking fingerprints. DNA samples can be taken if police have probable cause to detain a suspect facing charges relating to a serious offense, Kennedy said.
Like fingerprints, DNA is used for identification, and is not by itself evidence of a crime, Kennedy said. There is a legitimate government interest in knowing the identity of the person arrested, he added.
Via Dark Government
One Step closer to a DNA Database
*In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia explained that taking DNA samples of individuals arrested to set up a genetic database under the guise of solving cold cases in the distant future is an affront to the 4th Amendment.
Scalia said: “Make no mistake about it: because of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”
* From Occupy Corporatism
In the entire decade or so of airport security since the attacks on September 11th 2001, the TSA has not foiled a single terrorist plot or caught a single terrorist. Its own “Top 10 Good Catches of 2011″ does not have a single terrorist on the list. The “good catches” are forbidden items carried by mostly forgetful, and entirely innocent, people—the sorts of guns and knives that would have been just as easily caught by pre-9/11 screening procedures. Not that the TSA is expert at that; it regularly misses guns and bombs in tests and real life. Even its top “good catch”—a passenger with C4 explosives—was caught on his return flight; TSA agents missed it the first time through.
Don’t be fooled by claims that the plots it foils are secret. Stopping a terrorist attack is a political triumph. Witness the litany of half-baked and farcical plots that were paraded in front of the public to justify the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism measures. If the TSA ever caught anything even remotely resembling a terrorist, it would be holding press conferences and petitioning Congress for a bigger budget.
Full Article Here