Monday, March 17, 2008

Chains at a molecular level

The sleepwalk to a police state continued at the weekend, with a call from Gary Pugh, director of forensic services at Scotland yard, for children to be added to the national DNA database.


It's really disturbing that someone fairly senior in the police force feels quite able to come out and, in essence, say that the population should be treated as suspects - he is, after all, suggesting that a child be put on not because of anything it might have done, but because of a possibility that it might in future do something. He says at one point:



'Fingerprints, somehow, are far less contentious,' he said. 'We have
children giving their fingerprints when they are borrowing books from a
library.'


What. The. Fuck?? Does this really happen?



Does this really happen?



AC Grayling eloquently dispatches the pernicious "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" argument today in the Guardian.



At a time when the Chinese government is trampling all over the rights (and bodies) of the Tibetans, we need to look to our own back yards and see what's happening here before we find ourselves at the mercy of rulers with no regard for our right to live our own lives.

4 comments:

Lucia said...

We have a fingerprint identification system at my school library. I don't suppose there's a direct link to the police, mind you.

petemaskreplica said...

Holy shit. Every time I start to tell myself I'm being unnecesarily paranoid about the creeping surveillance society, something crops up to show I'm not.

Chris said...

I've really been enjoying The Last Enemy series on the BBC. The tech and politics are the most realistic I've seen for these sorts of shows.

On a completely unrelated note, robot big dog:
http://www.thinkartificial.org/artificial-intelligence/boston-dynamics-unveil-bigdog-progress/

petemaskreplica said...

Yes, that was an excellent series, quite disturbing - the gizmos in it aren't that far from becoming reality. I also liked the latter episodes where it showed the consequences of living in a tagged society when the rulers of that society decide they don't like you anymore. The assumption that if you've done nothing wrong you've nothing to fear doesn't take account of the fact that you don't get to decide what's "wrong".