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    Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Fingerprinted, DNA sequenced, photographed .. we know who YOU are. From womb to tomb.

    BBC Online had an astonishing story on Monday, 15 May 2006. Children under the age of five are being fingerprinted at asylum centres amid fears that some families are trying to claim extra benefits.

    The Home Office says trials are underway at asylum centres in Croydon and Liverpool because it is beleieved that some children are being registered by several families.

    Trials began in February using the old fashioned wet ink system (see pic) not the newer digital maps and will be, if successful, rolled out nationwide.

    A Home Office spokesman is quoted in Computer Weekly : "We have set a lower limit of five for the fingerprinting of asylum seekers because of the practical difficulties of taking and matching fingerprints from under-fives. That is to do with how small the prints are".

    Statewatch has reprts that any EU state will soon be be free to fingerprint children from birth as soon as it is technologically possible. The issue will not be decided by parliaments - national or European - but by a "comitology" committee meeting in secret: this "Article 6" committee is composed of representatives of the 25 governments and is chaired by the European Commission.

    Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:
    All the discussions by EU governments in the Council about the age at which children should be subject to compulsory fingerprinting are based on the technological possibilities - not on the moral and political questions of whether it is right or desirable.

    There will be special cases for fingerprinting where a child is "at risk" in order to ensure their safety. This does not in any way justify submitting all young children to this intrusive process.

    The decisions are being made in secret meetings based on secret documents - people and parliaments are to have no say in the decision.

    Under this proposal EU states will be free to fingerprint children from day one of their life as soon as it is technologically possible"
    England & Wales ( Not Scotland ) DNA Database

    Genewatch explains that in England and Wales, people's DNA is now taken routinely on arrest for any recordable offence (including begging, being drunk and disorderly or taking part in an illegal demonstration) and kept permanently. The law allowing permanent retention of all DNA taken on arrest was adopted after a the Government introduced a late amendment to the Criminal Justice Act during the first week of the Iraq war. It came into force in England and Wales in April 2004. Similar proposals to change the law in Scotland were rejected by the Scottish Parliament in May 2006, when members of all parties raised civil liberties concwrns. Despite the National Database (NDNAD) increasing rapidly in size from 2 million to 3 million people between April 2003 and April 2005, there has not been an increase in the number of crimes detected using DNA.

    Curiously in a Parliamentary answer to Stephen Crabb last Thursday Joan Ryan from the Home Office said that in 2000, 66,149 records were removed from the Database, in the first six months of this year only 8,868 were.

    This gives the NDNAD the most extensive list of people in the world. The database now contains DNA samples from 3.1 million individuals (5.2% of the UK population). No other police force has greater freedom to obtain, use and store genetic information from its citizens.

    Note also that the commercial company LGC,
    which analyses some DNA samples for the police, has retained its own "mini-database" of DNA records. That is of course the company where Lord Stevens , the predecessor to Lying Sir Ian Blair at Scotland Yard is eking out his retirement pension by the fees from a Board Directorship.

    Of these (@ 1/12/05) there were 24,168 persons under 18 on the National DNA Database (NDNAD) who had not been charged or cautioned for any offence. A further 27,000 persons on the NDNAD who have not been charged or cautioned for any offence were under 18 years of age at the time they were arrested and had a DNA sample taken but had reached 18 by 1st December 2005- Written answer to a Parliamentary question by Hazel Blears 2nd May 2006.

    519 search requests have been dealt with by the Database Custodian since 2004 from countries outside the UK, and responses provided back to the Nationa Central Bureau for Interpol.

    OH!, by an order in Council - ie at the Queen's pleasure, no debate, no discussion, the cost of a passport with your encoded digital image will be going up 33% to pay for this.


    If you have your eyes photographed to check for retinal adenopathy and macular degeneration, undertaken using digital imaging, you can easily have a look at them ... if you make a Freedom of Information request.


    Blogger onfoyou said...

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    8:02 AM  

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