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Human Rights Court Rules UK DNA Grab Illegal

As reported on The Register, BBC News, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and no doubt various other news sites, The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that it is illegal for the government to retain DNA profiles and fingerprints belonging to two men never convicted of any crime.

The full judgement is here. Note these paragraphs in particular:

“The Court was struck by the blanket and indiscriminate nature of the power of retention in England and Wales. In particular, the data in question could be retained irrespective of the nature or gravity of the offence with which the individual was originally suspected or of the age of the suspected offender; the retention was not time-limited; and there existed only limited possibilities for an acquitted individual to have the data removed from the nationwide database or to have the materials destroyed.”


[The UK government should] “implement, under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers, appropriate general and/or individual measures to fulfil its obligations to secure the right of the applicants and other persons in their position to respect for their private life”.

According to The Times

The decision now has far reaching consequences for the police, the Home Office and the British Government, although officials initially refused to say whether all the samples of innocent people on the system will now have to wiped.

The UK database is the biggest of its kind in the world per head of population, with around 4.5 million profiles held, and is seen by the police as a vital crime fighting tool, helping to solve hundreds of high profile murders and rapes.

But more than 850,000 people on the database – including 40,000 children – do not have a criminal record.

Deleting the records could mean that thousands of rapists, murderers and other criminals are not caught.

Scotland already destroys DNA samples taken during criminal investigations from people who are not charged or who are later acquitted of alleged offences.


The Government has no further right of appeal.

Jacqui Smith, the current home secretary and proponent of compulsory ID cards as well as the now illegal practice of retaining DNA records of people acquitted by the legal system has expressed her disappointment.  As the European Court has seen through her determination to criminalise everything she and her Stalinist masters don’t like she can do little else.

Of course she’s not going to say publicly that she believes that everyone is a criminal, they just haven’t been brought to justice yet.  Why else would her government let wiretapping of every internet connection go unchallenged?  Why else would her government force ID cards upon people?  Why else would her government be so spineless in defending its actions in the arrest of Damian Green?  The UK is now on a par with Zimbabwe, another country where opposition politicians are arrested.

1984 is not an instruction manual.  It’s a warning.

Here’s a reminder to all Zanu Nu Labour politicians and cronies.  The European Court has found that this government is failing “to fulfil its obligations to secure the right of the applicants and other persons in their position to respect for their private life”

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