Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Leave your DNA at the door

That's what lawmakers in Great Britain are proposing for all citizens and tourists, as well:

(HT: Captain Ed Morrissey)

The whole population and every UK visitor should be added to the national DNA database, a senior judge has said.

The present database in England and Wales holds details of 4m people who are guilty or cleared of a crime.

Lord Justice Sedley said this was indefensible and biased against ethnic minorities, and it would be fairer to include everyone, guilty or innocent.

Ministers said DNA helped tackle crime, but there were no plans for a voluntary national or compulsory UK database.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said to expand the database would create "huge logistical and bureaucratic issues" and civil liberty concerns.

Privacy advocates are calling it an "invasion of privacy." I don't agree. I believe that if Britain feels it needs to create a database like this then they should be allowed to. Where I draw the line, however, is on those visiting Britain. In the piece, Lord Justice Sedley said that even if people go to Britain for a weekend, they should be required to give a sample of their DNA.

A long, long time ago (back when I wasn't always a saint), I had a run-in with police. I was fingerprinted then, and those are still on record. (Minor "skirmish" when I used to skateboard, and was arrested for trespassing. Nothing big, and I was sentenced to "community service." I did it, that was before I was 18, and those records are now cleared. So please, no comments comparing me to Norman Hsu on the lam right now.) I've never asked to have those fingerprint records expunged, and I don't think they should be.

But if I'm going to Britain on holiday or vacation, I'm not a British citizen, and I shouldn't be compelled to give them a damn thing. If this is what Great Britain decides, I think I'll join Captain Ed in spending my tourism dollars elsewhere.

Publius II


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