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Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) 1 year, 1 month ago

Poll: Are you Pro or Contra Registering All People's Biometrics to Fight Crime/Terrorism Better? (194 votes)

Pro 15%
Contra 70%
It's complicated... 15%

I don't understand why *The Powers That Be* don't insist on collecting all relevant biometrics of all people to more efficiently fight crime and terrorism. If DNA, fingerprints, irises, dental records, skull shapes etc. would be on file for everyone, not just convicts - crime/terrorism fighting would be much more efficient.

I'm way less afraid of abuse by *The Powers That Be*, than I am weary of the individual. No government is as fucked up as the worst of worst individuals out there, and I'd rather have such people lose every advantage, than giving into an irrational fear of what evils *The Powers That Be* might be up to with my biometric information.

Where do you stand?

#1 Posted by Animasta (14632 posts) -

the powers that be?

what, are the enemies of the state wolfram and hart?

#2 Posted by JouselDelka (967 posts) -

wat

#3 Edited by Emperor_Norton (41 posts) -

Contra III: The Alien Wars

#4 Posted by DocHaus (1310 posts) -

It's about as good a question as "Would you beat a close friend or family member half to death with a golf club if doing so would somehow save your country?"

#5 Edited by mlarrabee (2868 posts) -

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."

I believe in the right to reasonable privacy, and I heartily agree with Mr. Franklin.

#6 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@dochaus said:

It's about as good a question as "Would you beat a close friend or family member half to death with a golf club if doing so would somehow save your country?"

To have your biometrics on file is akin to inflict bodily harm upon yourself or someone else? How so? It's just information in a file.

#7 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

I don't think there should be any such thing as privacy. It serves no purpose for anyone but those doing wrong.

#8 Posted by Giantstalker (1510 posts) -

@jdh5153 said:

I don't think there should be any such thing as privacy. It serves no purpose for anyone but those doing wrong.

Hear, hear

#9 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -

I would personally opt to put my biometrics on file if it came down to a nation wide vote, but in the end, "it's complicated".

Although a great idea, if that information gets into the hands of industry or employers it can lead to some baaaaad stuff. Think of all the craziness in the gaming industry which results from something as simple as Metacritic but apply that to human biometrics on a nation-wide scale and things which actually matter.

It could be the best or worst thing ever. Plus, beyond law enforcement you're thinking small - biometrics on that scale could shed light upon some important questions about human evolution, health, and a number of other things.

#10 Edited by Morbid_Coffee (954 posts) -

I dunno man, Bill and Lance are pretty good at fighting crime and/or terrorism, but that Fire Pro Wrestling crew is pretty fucking great too!

It's complicated.

Current mood: Indifferent (- . -)

Current song: It Takes Two

Coffee is the mayor of cool town on foursquare.

#11 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

@seppli said:

@dochaus said:

It's about as good a question as "Would you beat a close friend or family member half to death with a golf club if doing so would somehow save your country?"

To have your biometrics on file is akin to inflict bodily harm upon yourself or someone else? How so? It's just information in a file.

But to get a good DNA sample you would have to beat everyone with a golf club hard enough so blood starts showing!
Think man! Geesh :P


#13 Edited by Lysergica33 (517 posts) -

Against. I fail to see how them having all of everyone's information is actually going to help fix any of the world's problems. Perhaps we should try examining the CAUSE of the crimes first, not just why they decided to commit the crimes in the here and now but the larger sociological issues that drive people towards crime in the first place. And as for Terrorism? What, that thing the West does to the East under the guise of protecting freedom? Yeah, good luck fighting that one. Terrorism is an idea, nothing more. So long as there have been humans, I have no doubt that people have used fear to try and control others, be it with fear of violence, fear of inadequecy, fear of death, fear of God, whatever. All of these things are acts of terror and are universal to humanity. The "powers that be" having all of my info isn't going to change any of this or HELP change any of it, nor is that what's desired, because most of the acts of terror in this world could've been prevented before they even began, but the choice has been made by these mysterious "powers that be" to let them happen on many an occasion, and this continues to be the case.

Look, I got nothing to hide and tell no lies, and a fair amount of my behaviour could be considered criminal, considering I enjoy ingesting psychoactive substances for the purposes of psychological exploration, but if such a thing were to happen, I wouldn't protest it, because what will be will be when it comes to Government. I possess what I'd refer to as a healthy distrust of politicians, politics and governments in all shapes and sizes, and I've long since stopped believing we that much of a real say in what happens when it comes to law and legislation. Shout loud enough and CONCESSIONS will get made for you, but something like them having every single living human's biometric information at the fingers? I doubt even the loudest and rowdiest of shouting would stop that from happening if they wanted to make it happen. This is what happens when you can write new legislation that invalidates old legislation... The moral integrity that the concept of law is founded on (to do what is just and right and capture those that are not just nor right and see them be punished) falls out from beneath its own feet and all you're left with is a clusterfuck.

In the mean time I'll just sit here not giving a fuck what the Government does, carving out a niche for myself in existence without letting the bastards get me down. \o/ I wouldn't be okay with such a thing happening, but whether it's okay with me wouldn't be an issue if it was mandatory, so I'd let them get all the necessary info and then go on with my life as though nothing had happened and try and do as little as I can to invite the ol' Gestapo to come a-knockin'.

#14 Posted by Clonedzero (4036 posts) -

That'd be way too easy to abuse.

#15 Posted by MikkaQ (10261 posts) -

I'd be against something like this, I think the cops and courts have too many advantages anyway. They'll just get lazy if we let them have this.

#16 Edited by MooseyMcMan (10332 posts) -

I don't think that's the right use of the word "contra," but hey, what do I know?

Also, freedom.

If for no other reason, actually getting all of this information would be nigh impossible. And, at least in the case of the United States, there's a good argument to be made about such a thing being unconstitutional (right to privacy).

#17 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

I'm against it, and I find it disturbing that so many are actually for it.

#18 Edited by TruthTellah (8382 posts) -

I'm against registering all people's biometrics to fight crime/terrorism.

And, oddly enough, the new immigration bill in the US Congress had a section slipped in which establishes a national database of facial data on all citizens. So... sounds like some people are certainly interested in this concept.

Though, I'd say it's like many calls to expand government power. A well-meaning but awful idea.

#19 Edited by JouselDelka (967 posts) -

Contra III: The Alien Wars

This made me laugh hysterically

#20 Edited by villainy (532 posts) -

So now governments aren't made up of individuals each capable of being just as bad as the "worst of worst" if they decided to? No thank you.

Also... Skull shapes?

#21 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Thanks for including the third option. Issues like this are nuanced.

#22 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@villainy said:

So now governments aren't made up of individuals each capable of being just as bad as the "worst of worst" if they decided to? No thank you.

Also... Skull shapes?

Whatever biometrics are needed for facial recoginition. I guess that's the shape of the skull. Brow and cheekbone measurements and other shit you can't quite change, at least not without major effort. Not some obscure science of skullshapes to determine a person's traits, all of which with a racially motivated agenda.

P.S. Pretty much everything governments do is on public record, and *bad* people can't abuse power willy-nilly. Of course there's quite a few failed governments out there, and lots of fucked-up shit going on. That not withstanding - it's just biometric data. A flippin' database like a phonebook. It's not like literally putting your cock and balls in their hand.

Why would you worry about a database, if your government already got an ABC arsenal at its disposal, and all the guns and munitions to arm a million men?

#23 Edited by crusader8463 (14411 posts) -

I wouldn't be opposed to a DNA swab and fingerprinting at birth kind of thing. I don't see how that would be anything but useful in being able to track down criminals. I see it as being no different then everyone who wants to work needing a SIN number or getting a drivers license in order to drive. It's just another ID. I mean, sure it will make hiding that you are a member of the upcoming rebellion harder when we inevitably need to overthrow the government, but that's at least a generation or two off so I don't think it would affect me in my life and I would get the benefits.

#24 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -
#25 Posted by Orbitz (67 posts) -

I can't believe there is even one person who is actually for this terrifying idea, that isn't in the government.. But hey! doesn't matter how many rights you sacrifice just as long as those gosh darn terrorists stop threatening you, right?

America is truly a frightening country.

#26 Edited by Animasta (14632 posts) -

@orbitz said:

I can't believe there is even one person who is actually for this terrifying idea, that isn't in the government.. But hey! doesn't matter how many rights you sacrifice just as long as those gosh darn terrorists stop threatening you, right?

America is truly a frightening country.

if we lived in a way better culture I would be totally down for this.

#27 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@orbitz said:

I can't believe there is even one person who is actually for this terrifying idea, that isn't in the government.. But hey! doesn't matter how many rights you sacrifice just as long as those gosh darn terrorists stop threatening you, right?

America is truly a frightening country.

You look at a crimescene. Find fingerprints. DNA material. And get no hits from the extremely limited databases you run them through. That's an absurd situation. There's no reason why my DNA and fingerprints shouldn't be on file in a biometrics database. If everybody's biometrics are collected, it'd be as easy as checking somebody's name in a phonebook to find a suspect, if any biometric evidence is found.

Why would the push for less anonymity be an American thing? Just look at how hard some parties lobby for a complete removal of anonymity on the internet all around the world - a thing which has plenty downsides, as well as quite a few merits, alongside with a slew of new problems arising.

I don't see how being listed in a phonebook does diminsh your freedoms. How would having your DNA on file limit your freedom? Other than reducing your freedom to squirt your spunk in your latest rape victim's orificies, and expect to get away with it, because you've never been caught stepping over the line beforehand?

#28 Edited by Orbitz (67 posts) -

@animasta: In what world would having everybody's information right down to the last detail be a good idea? Would the "Increased security/Peace of mind" even be worth it?

This is some scary "slippery slope" stuff we're talking about here.

I'll just say that I'm glad I'm not American.

#29 Posted by Orbitz (67 posts) -

@seppli: Yeah it would make finding criminals easier, no one is denying that.. But where does it end?

like I said "would the increased security/peace of mind even be worth it?" This just seems to be really shaky ground from where I'm sitting.

#30 Posted by Fawkes (229 posts) -

I don't see a problem with it. I'm more worried about being falsely accused of a crime than of being caught for committing one.

#31 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@orbitz said:

@animasta: In what world would having everybody's information right down to the last detail be a good idea? Would the "Increased security/Peace of mind" even be worth it?

This is some scary "slippery slope" stuff we're talking about here.

I'll just say that I'm glad I'm not American.

You'll have to explain to me how it's a bad idea first. Don't see how some hypothetical and likely irrational fictional abuse of biometric data beats real crimes going unsolved.

#32 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5153 posts) -

I'd much prefer it if they just bombed everyone into oblivion, remember it's legal to bomb American citizens as long as they're on foreign soil. Once you're McCarthy'd you get bombed, plain and simple; collateral damage doesn't matter!

#33 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10332 posts) -

@seppli: I stand corrected.

But I still believe in freedom, and that such a system of documenting all this stuff would be way more negative than positive. Not even so much from the point of view of the government misusing it as the idea that people would be able to hack into the system and get this information. And then what? I dunno, I'm no future cyber-criminal, but I don't want that sort of information about myself stored ANYWHERE on any sort of anything.

#34 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@seppli: So how about put cameras in all the rooms of your home to prevent you from committing any crime? How about a GPS on your car to give you automatic fines every time you break a traffic law? How about breathalizers in every car to make sure you aren't driving drunk? How about every person having to give mandatory drug tests on a monthly basis? Why not? You aren't committing any crimes, right? You aren't driving drunk or doing any drugs? You should be OK with all of this.

Freedom is fundamentally dangerous. Those are the cold, hard facts. Live free and take a little responsibility for yourself and your own safety or just dive head first into slavery. The safest place you could ever be is locked in a padded cell, fed three meals a day. How about that? Everybody would be so safe.

Why don't I want to be in a database? Because history shows that it will be abused. Ever heard of eugenics? Or did you know that Hitler used IBM punch card machines to log and keep track of Jews within concentration camps? "The Powers That Be" have historically been far worse than the individual. The individual can only get away with so much. A corrupt government becomes a boulder rolling down a hill that is so much harder to stop.

#35 Posted by Orbitz (67 posts) -

@mcghee said:

@seppli: So how about put cameras in all the rooms of your home to prevent you from committing any crime? How about a GPS on your car to give you automatic fines every time you break a traffic law? How about breathalizers in every car to make sure you aren't driving drunk? How about every person having to give mandatory drug tests on a monthly basis? Why not? You aren't committing any crimes, right? You aren't driving drunk or doing any drugs? You should be OK with all of this.

Freedom is fundamentally dangerous. Those are the cold, hard facts. Live free and take a little responsibility for yourself and your own safety or just dive head first into slavery. The safest place you could ever be is locked in a padded cell, fed three meals a day. How about that? Everybody would be so safe.

Why don't I want to be in a database? Because history shows that it will be abused. Ever heard of eugenics? Or did you know that Hitler used IBM punch card machines to log and keep track of Jews within concentration camps? "The Powers That Be" have historically been far worse than the individual. The individual can only get away with so much. A corrupt government becomes a boulder rolling down a hill that is so much harder to stop.

Thank you for saying what I didn't have the mental capacity at the moment to say.

@seppli this is why I don't like this idea.. It really makes me uncomfortable.

#36 Posted by Karkarov (2939 posts) -

Uh no, totally against the idea. I am not a criminal and I don't plan to become one. They already have my photo, my license info, my address, my email, my SSN, my CC info, they don't need my DNA too.

#37 Edited by triple07 (1196 posts) -

Huh, whaddya know. I thought you were making a very strange joke. Learn something new everyday.

Anyway, I'm not really sure how I feel about it because on the surface I wouldn't be opposed to it being used to track down criminals and solve crimes (I'm not really sure who would be against that though besides criminals I guess), but it would be really tricky to keep that kind of technology from being abused. Plus it just seems super creepy and Orwellian to have that kind of data for everyone in the country.

#38 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5796 posts) -

If it were as simple as the government having everyone's fingerprints on file, and that information were used appropriately then I'd be fine with it.

Those are some pretty big assumptions to make though

#39 Edited by Slag (3897 posts) -

Good God.

Who on earth voted yes or even it's complicated?

This is as cut and dried as it comes, if you value freedom at all you know a National Gov't owned DNA database is completely antithetical to it.

#40 Edited by Vinny_Says (5681 posts) -

-see Germany circa 1930s

#41 Posted by Krummey (198 posts) -

I threw up in a jail cell one fateful Memorial Day weekend. I wonder if they have my DNA.

#42 Posted by Example1013 (4833 posts) -

Contra is not interchangeable with anti, and neither of the two are words, so I'm not "contra" anything.

I don't think it's right for the government to collect that information. Our entire legal system operates on the assumption of "innocent until proven guilty", so if I am assumed to have not committed a crime, what justification is there for keeping my fingerprints and DNA on file to match to a crime? If they have just cause to believe I'm involved in a crime, the government can go through the proper procedures to obtain that info, and until then they can fuck off.

#43 Posted by Nick (650 posts) -

@animasta said:

the powers that be?

what, are the enemies of the state wolfram and hart?

lol I was thinking the same thing

#44 Edited by BaconGames (3280 posts) -

I don't get how America is being implied here at all. Except for China and Japan, every major economic power would react similarly as Britain, Pakistan, India, the US, France, Ireland, Russia, and others to terrorism. Data overwhelmingly suggests that states and their constituencies believe in police and military actions against terrorist groups as they operate under the premise that anything otherwise would be seen as giving into the terrorists. Now unless people want a lecture on my literature review on negotiating with terrorists, let's just leave this is a point to note.

As for the question, no and not for the reason that has anything to do with rights. While trust in government and the ideological issue over rights is important, the idea that such a system would make fighting crime and terrorism more efficient is merely an assumption. Not an illogical or unreasonable assumption but one that from what I know from criminology would not be supported and here's why. Criminal justice as we know it is often theoretical in the minds of many people around the world where they often don't see the reality behind it, which is the dual-headed beast of logistics and bureaucracy.

Such a system assumes a nationwide effort to collect this information, store it, design a computer system that could parse and allow ready access for the nation's police departments and military, AND, assumes that information would be used effectively by the personnel. The simple fact is that your average police department is inconsistent with its UCR stat recording and so would be no indication of its ability to deal with such a mass of information. Granted, in after-the-fact police investigations, I'm sure growing the already existing DNA record database would please those who don't have it and want it but as I said, there's no data either way to suggest it will or won't work. My guess is it would help in some situations, mostly homicide and rape cases and such, but it would likely get bogged down by the same due process and evidence processing that the criminal justice system already has in place. Even if one had a perfect, easy to access record of everyone's DNA, the presence of DNA on a crime scene does not prove anything outright, making the match only a lead-creator and nothing more. DNA as its been used in criminal justice is a rich topic that warrants more review of articles and research on my behalf to really get into it but I'll leave it there for now. Just for the record, DNA in criminal justice has actually been a great equalizer, often acquitting many who as it turns out wrongfully accused.

The way the OP has followed up on it, the intent is to simply grow the database we already have but there are two ways of doing that. One is to increase the efficiency of collection and test pilot the collection as mandatory for criminals and another to throw a larger amount of money at building a national pre-emptive database which would not only be politically toxic/controversial but likely imperfect. The imperfection of the data would likely cause in many simple people's views, whether officers or not, to see those without a record as informally "guilty". Rights aside, the side-effect could be occasional better investigations but more likely another way many people's suspicions and assumptions be confirmed not with actual evidence but what seems like it.

To play my own devil's advocate, people like to use the analogy of the national ID card in these kinds of discussions but police and society at large has often viewed those without a driver's license or non-driver's license suspiciously; on top of that functioning in society often requires having forms of ID anyway. The dystopic futures many fear are often exaggerated extensions of things people have long accepted anyway. Change happens gradually and in context during and after many have given their views on the matter. At least that's the beauty of the modern world where everyone gets a say and controversies are fast and often. Therefore my personal view is that if it were to actually happen, it wouldn't happen the way we would think and it's probably not even as worth the hype then.

Happy tl;dr'ing!

#45 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11413 posts) -

No. I'm not one of the people on my facebook feed who views anything related to government intervention as the beginnings of the orwellian oppressive state (followed by calls to grab our guns and perhaps a Ron Paul quote or two)... but something like that would have so much potential for abuse and error that it wouldn't be worth it.

#46 Edited by Stonyman65 (2566 posts) -

I'm against it, and I find it disturbing that so many are actually for it.

This.

#47 Posted by Pr1mus (3771 posts) -

No, because common sense.

#48 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5112 posts) -

I'm all for background checks, but this might be too much.

#49 Posted by hawkinson76 (354 posts) -

As and American: absolutely not. Show me Probable Cause, or maybe (if the circumstances warrant) Reasonable Suspicion.

To be clear: When crime is a minority behavior (whilch is almost always, hell I can't think of a time it isn't, the assumption MUST be innocence.

#50 Edited by Strife777 (1489 posts) -

I honestly don't understand how the governement having your fingerprints and DNA on file violates any sort of privacy or freedom. They can't track me or know what I do with that sort of info. As long as that stuff is used for criminal purposes (I'm not really sure what other use they would have) it sounds ok to me.

I would genuinely like someone to explain how getting our fingerprints and DNA would affect anything negatively. I will accept that I'm perhaps missing something.