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Are these your genes, sir?

发布时间:2019-03-07 05:08:13来源:未知点击:

By Matt Walker PLANS to allow the police in Britain to keep DNA samples taken from innocent people are alarming campaigners for civil liberties. At present, DNA profiles must be destroyed after the suspects from which they were taken are eliminated from a criminal enquiry (New Scientist, 23 May 1998, p 18). But the increasing use of mass screenings means that individuals who are suspects in several investigations have to repeatedly give samples. “This is a waste of time and money,” says Home Secretary Jack Straw. He wants these profiles to be retained—if the individuals consent—in a new database that will exist alongside the National DNA Database, which contains profiles of over 600 000 convicted criminals. Straw also wants to allow police to check crime scene samples against databases held by foreign governments and the military. Britain’s Police Superintendents’ Association, which has been calling for wider use of DNA profiles, has welcomed the proposals. But John Wadham, director of the London-based civil rights group Liberty, calls the plans “deeply flawed”. People may feel intimidated into allowing their profiles to be stored, fearing that a refusal would place them under suspicion,