"DNA: The Fingerprint of the Future"
by Dr. Robert
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past ten years, you know that DNA
(Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid) has become one of the best identifiers in courtrooms across
the United States. Your DNA sequence is completely unique (unless you are an identical
twin) and can not be altered. However, fingerprinting still holds one major advantage
over DNA testing.
If you have ever been arrested, served in the military, or worked for the government,
your fingerprints are already on file in a huge FBI database in Washington. Many
states have implemented mandatory fingerprinting before applying for a driver's
license. Programs such as KidSafe convince parents and schools to fingerprint children
at an early age, claiming that this will help if your child is ever abducted, but
allows the government to collect and catalog fingerprints from an even larger slice of
the population. Therefore, if you leave a fingerprint at the scene of a crime, chances
are that they can be matched against the samples that they have already have of your
However, this is not the case with DNA. Typically the procedure is as follows. A
person leaves trace DNA evidence at the scene of a crime: blood, semen, saliva, hair
follicles, or even skin cells. The investigators attempt to solve the crime from other
evidence, and when a suspect is identified, they match the DNA left at the scene with
DNA samples drawn from the suspect in custody. Of course, most guilty people will not
consent to such a test, knowing that it will incriminate them, and investigators hit a
But the FBI has come up with a viable solution to this huge gap in the legal process.
If they had a database of DNA similar to the fingerprint database at their disposal,
they could simply match evidence with the samples they have in Washington. But how
will they build this database? Every time a person goes to the doctor or hospital, they
are asked to provide proof of identification including their social security number,
driver's license, and a major credit card. When doctors draw "routine blood work" they
are also able to collect a sample of your DNA to catalog and store with the rest of
your information. Facilities that comply are granted special government funding, which
they so badly need in these days of PPOs and HMOs.
The goal behind this massive collection effort is simple. Next time that DNA is left at the scene of a crime, they can match it to the samples in their database, and use this to identify and convict the perpetrator. This will save hours of legwork and
investigation, as well as solving more cases than ever before possible.
How could this possibly be a bad thing? With the falling price of DNA tests and
increased credibility, the police will soon be able to collar every person who steals a
bicycle or shoplifts a piece of gum. Other than our already overflowing courtrooms and
prisons being hammered by a greatly increased caseload, what could be wrong? What else
would the government possibly want with your genetic marker?
They can track and positively identify you no matter how many times your change your
name or face. With samples of your blood on file, you could easily be framed for any
||Also, their techniques are fallible. No DNA lab takes the time to examine
all three million bits of code in a DNA sequence, they simply compare small areas where
there might be variation. Could you have a unique genetic code and yet still match up
to the points examined and be accused of a crime you didn't commit? Most certainly!
Computers and databases are imperfect at best and your records could be altered
manually or by accident to improperly identify you as a serial killer. We should not
have blind faith that some data entry clerk will be entering your information correctly
at the end of a long day.
But what this all boils down to is a grand conspiracy to identify, number, and trace
YOU. DNA is a great way to track criminals, but what happens when the government
changes the definition of criminal to include your religious, sexual, or political
orientation? Can you sleep at night knowing that any day your freedom can be compromised
at the whim of the government? Maybe one day you'll march at a political rally and the
next you disappear. Is your freedom of speech guaranteed when anything you say can be
traced back to you and held against you? I guess there just isn't anyplace left in this
digital world for privacy, anonymity, and the bill of rights.
What could you do to fight this? You could refuse all medical treatment, or give false
identification to doctors. You could spend your life looking over your shoulder. Or
you could just go along with it like the rest of the sheep and place your life in the
hands of our infallible and uncorrupted government. After all, chances are you already
carry a driver's license with a digital photo and electro-magnetic identification
strip, a social security card issued to you at birth, credit and ATM cards, and bills
with magnetic strips woven into the paper in your wallet. You're a good person, so you
don't have anything to worry about when your DNA is collected and added to your growing
file in Washington, or do you?