Sunday, April 19, 2009

I want my DNA.*

According to the New York Times, "starting this month, the FBI will join 15 states that collect DNA samples from people awaiting trial and also will collect DNA from immigrants who have been detained — the vanguard of a growing class of genetic registrants. " Remind me not to talk to the Feds.

I don't plan on committing a crime any time soon, state or federal. Still, I don't care for the idea that a sample of my DNA may some day reside in a drawer in some vault in the basement of an obscure federal repository, against the day when I might leave a bit of spittle behind at a meeting of some-yet-to-be-identified group of subversive old men. (AARP, anyone?)

They've already got my birth certificate, my driver's license number, photo, social security number, and income information for most of the past 45 years or so. Probably much more, though I'll be damned if I'll spend the money to make an FOIA request to find out. They'd just add that to the file anyway. ("Why's he asking? What does he have to be afraid of?")

They (the state, the Feds or anyone else with the necessary interest) can buy a ton of additional information on me for a few dollars. They can listen in on my infrequent international calls.(Technically, I understand they already do; it's just a question of whether anyone says anything that piques their curiousity). If they had half a mind to do so, they could pretty readily track down most every thought I've ever broadcast on the internet, worldwide web, or using my secret decoder headband. They've already sought authority to get my library records on request, only to be beaten back by an army of grey-haired, middle-aged women wearing ankle-length skirts.

On second thought, I guess they can have my DNA. They've already got everything else.


* With apologies to Dire Straits.

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