link to briefings documents at

Magna Carta Plus News

back to index page
orientation to the news at

short briefing dcuments at

This page provides occasional items, linked to the original articles, as we attempt to keep up with the rapidly changing situation on civil liberties.
Archive of old news service:
2002 - 2004

1st Jan to 9th Sept 2005


DNA database in development in US

Posted by James Hammerton @ 10:02 pm on 30 September, 2005.
Categories privacy and surveillance, democracy and the rule of law.
Edit This Permalink to this article

Bruce Schneier cites a Washing Post article which reports that the US is considering proposals that would involve taking DNA from all those arrested and keeping it regardless of whether the person is then charged or convicted, though people not convicted will have a right to ask for their DNA to be removed after any action against them is dropped:

Suspects arrested or detained by federal authorities could be forced to provide samples of their DNA that would be recorded in a central database under a provision of a Senate bill to expand government collection of personal data.

The controversial measure was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week and is supported by the White House, but has not gone to the floor for a vote. It goes beyond current law, which allows federal authorities to collect and record samples of DNA only from those convicted of crimes. The data are stored in an FBI-maintained national registry that law enforcement officials use to aid investigations, by comparing DNA from criminals with evidence found at crime scenes.

And later:

The provision, co-sponsored by Kyl and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), does not require the government to automatically remove the DNA data of people who are never convicted. Instead, those arrested or detained would have to petition to have their information removed from the database after their cases were resolved.

It seems the US is going down a similar route to the UK on the retention of DNA samples. After DNA fingerprinting was introduced, the government promised, and passed a law to the effect, that those who were not convicted or had charges dropped would have their DNA samples destroyed. In practice the samples were kept indefinitely. This practice was then legalised. The UK has since legislated to enable DNA to be taken and stored indefinitely for all arrestable offences (i.e. prior to charges being laid) and made all criminal offences arrestable. There is no mechanism for someone to have their DNA removed from the UK’s database.

MEPs reject UK’s communications data retention plans

Posted by James Hammerton @ 9:44 pm on .
Categories privacy and surveillance.
Edit This Permalink to this article

The British government has been pushing the European Union to require telecommunications providers to store all the data about who people communicate with (but not the contents of those communications), for a minimum of a year and possibly indefinitely.

The Register recently reported that MEPs have voted against these proposals.

These proposals would have involved companies storing data about e.g. who you phone/email and who phones/emails you, for a year for retrospective searching by the police and security agencies of EU states. The British government tried to implement a voluntary retention scheme in the UK but this was resisted by the internet and telecomms providers.

« Previous Page


© magnacartaplus.org2008, 2007, 2006 [1 December]

variable words
prints as variable A4 pages (on my printer and set-up)

abstracts of documents on UK Acts of Parliament click for news from orientation to orientation button links to other relevant sites links

Powered by WordPress