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Crime Privacy Science Technology

Dutch Police Ask 8000+ Citizens To Provide Their DNA 374

sciencewatcher writes "In an attempt to solve a rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl, the Dutch police have asked 8080 men to provide their DNA. All these people lived 5 km or less from the crime scene at the time of the murder. This reopened cold case is the first large-scale attempt not to hunt the rapist and killer but to locate his close or distant male relatives. All data gathered will be destroyed after the match with this particular murder. There seems to be great public support for this attempt." Shades of The Blooding.
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Dutch Police Ask 8000+ Citizens To Provide Their DNA

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  • I'd do it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:05PM (#41251033)

    I don't generally like the idea of giving DNA samples to anyone. However, if the authorities are very direct and up-front about it, and provide me with a signed statement that the records will be destroyed after each sample is "cleared", then I'd do it in this case.

    I'll always trust the entity who asks for something over the entity which does the same thing in secret without permission.

    Even so, I sincerely doubt that this will lead to the perpetrator, for obvious reasons.

  • Re:Promise? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:08PM (#41251093)

    Yeah, we've seen and heard similar promises from both government and private entities before.

    "These automated license plate scanners won't store the data." "Okay this data may be useful to us, so we'll save it but not for more than three months." "Hey we've got all this great license plate data, organized by place and time - what will you pay for such useful information?"

    "We're not collecting Wi-Fi data." "Okay, yeah we are collecting it but we're not going to store the Wi-Fi payload info." "Okay, we did, you caught us, it was accidentally done, but we won't do it again." "Okay we didn't actually dump it the last time after we said we would, but we ARE now... promise!"

    If I were Dutch, I think I'd decline to participate.

  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:22PM (#41251283)

    Somewhere, there has to be a sense of common human rights, and what's extractable by the state-- any state. If there are no matches, then what? Is the DNA destroyed? Or is it part of a new database to vet our ostensible innocence of other crimes?

    It's invasive, and therefore beyond the reach of probing with the flimsy "probable cause" of proximity, and the inherent right of people to be innocent until proven guilty. Yes, American ideals, and a boundary that's pushed across the planet.

  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:26PM (#41251345) Journal

    You can't say "no". They can just take a swab of something you touched.. Everywhere we go, we leave a little something behind.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:53PM (#41251819)

    Shit man, I WISH they'd try something like that in Winnipeg. I'd be damn fucking PROUD to be published on a list of "those who didn't cater to the OBVIOUS overstepping of the authorities". I'd be tempted to ask if they wish me to wear a red armband as well to indicate I didn't take part in this.

    But in general, I'd ask they put my name front and goddamn center as one of the people who didn't take part.

  • Living in Holland (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bysshe ( 1330263 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @04:12PM (#41252935)
    There is not great public support for this. Outside of that podunk village there's plenty of people, me included, who would go tell the authorities to go fuck themselves. Slippery slope this is. Destroy data? yeah right. They've also said, only after the case has been solved. What if its not solved? And is data ever really destroyed?

    On the radio and in the media they're just not playing the sound bites of people who refuse, they're only playing clips of people who say "what's the big deal if you have nothing to hide". The old line secret police everywhere like to use.

    I for one will tell the justice department to shove it if they ask me for this.
  • I am Spartacus (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2012 @07:23PM (#41254871)

    We need to get together and have everyone give samples of bodily fluids, containing our DNA, mix them together thoroughly, and spray the stuff EVERYWHERE, so that we can get our fucking privacy back by making it impossible to determine absolutely using our DNA whether or not any one of us has been somewhere, or anywhere, so we can once more be free from the prying, spying eyes of the sick voyeurs who make our laws.

    Kind of like how at the end of Spartacus, everyone started exclaiming that each one of them was Spartacus, shouting "I am Spartacus!"

    My response to this Gatacoid civilization we're developing.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI