January 17, 2013

Will Obama snoop on our #DNA next?

"He knows where you've been driving,
he knows where you've been staying."
First, Team Obama still doesn't want to reveal if or when it's spying on John or Jane Doe, without a warrant, with a GPS tracking unit.

From the ACLU:
Two key memos outlining the Justice Department’s views about when Americans can be surreptitiously tracked with GPS technology are being kept secret by the department despite a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU to force their release. The FBI’s general counsel discussed the existence of the two memos publicly last year, yet the Justice Department is refusing to release them without huge redactions. ...

The Justice Department’s unfortunate decision leaves Americans with no clear understanding of when we will be subjected to tracking—possibly for months at a time—or whether the government will first get a warrant. This is yet another example of secret surveillance policies—like the Justice Department’s secret opinions about the Patriot Act’s Section 215—that simply should not exist in a democratic society.
Pretty straightforward about what Dear Leader is doing (to the degree we know what he's doing) isn't it?

It may also be a bit related why he's never nominated a director for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms his entire administration. Far be it from me to give gun nuts more ammo, so to speak, but Dear Leader's doing so himself.

But, that's nothing.

Hey, Gadfly, is that you I see?
Now, we've got a new "holy crap" moment.

It's pretty damned easy to identify real people from their DNA. Even if supposedly is somewhat "anonymized."
The genetic data of more than 1,000 people from around the world seemed stripped of anything that might identify them individually. All that was posted online were those data, the ages of the individuals, and the region where each of them lived. But when a researcher randomly selected the DNA sequences of five people in the database, he not only figured out who they were, but he also identified their entire families, though the relatives had no part in the study. His foray into genomic sleuthing ended up breaching the privacy of nearly 50 people.
Holy crap, indeed! Go read the whole story.

Among other things, a certain Dr. Botkin is incredibly naive:
"Dr. Jeffrey R. Botkin, associate vice president for research integrity at the University of Utah, which collected the genetic information of some research participants whose identity was breached, cautioned about overreacting. ... He added that “it is hard to imagine what would motivate anyone to undertake this sort of privacy attack in the real world.”
Really? The (he shall not be named) Presidential Administration who thinks extrajudicial killing of Americans with drones and extrajudicial spying on Americans with GPS systems, and a massive "war on leakers," wouldn't have ideas for what to do with this?

Let's say, on the "leakers" angle, Department of Justice subpoenas every piece of paper in a reporter's possession. And tests it for any bits of DNA it can find.

It identifies people, and starts going from there.

We've seen how draconian Team Obama was with Aaron Swartz. So, if you think this is hyperbolically unrealistic, think again.

And, would I ever want my DNA tested for anything? Not anymore.

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