Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Creating a Surveillance and DNA Database for Every American . . . From the Cradle to the Grave

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post
March 17, 2013

Coming in combination with such recent announcements as the open desire of agencies like DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to create an Internet server that will house all verbal communications, it can scarcely be debated that the U.S. Government, military, and intelligence apparatus in concert with its Corporate wing, are attempting to develop an all-encompassing database on each and every American citizen.
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Indeed, as I wrote in my article, “New Report: ‘Recording Everything’ Details How Governments Can Shape the Dynamics of Dissent,” a 2011 Brookings Institution report actually confirmed what many have suspected for some time – that the United States government (and virtually every other government in the world) has the capability to monitor and record nearly every electronic interaction that occurs within its national borders.

In fact, the ability to do so is extremely cost-effective - even cheap - according to current comparisons of government spending thresholds. For instance, as the Brookings report noted, “The audio for all of the telephone calls made by a single person over the course of one year could be stored using roughly 3.3 gigabytes. On a per capita basis, the cost to store all phone calls will fall from about 17 cents per person per year today to under 2 cents in 2015.” Storing the location data for each of the 300 million American citizens could actually be accomplished for the price of a low-wage job - in the area of $18,000. The cost of creating this database of all video, audio, online, and location information of every person inside the national borders would pale in comparison to spending levels on many other current government projects, as the Brookings Institution report demonstrates. 

The growing database, however, is not relegated to mere online communications. Video, audio, and location data are to be combined with biometric data such as fingerprints, vein scans, and iris scans, as well as actual DNA material in order to create a truly all-encompassing database of information on each and every American citizen.

Of course, the creation of the database of such material is not being openly announced in any direct manner, nor are the requirements for submission of much of the material being mandated as a matter of public policy at this time. Yet, regardless, the Total Information Awareness Network is moving forward at an ever-increasing rate.
Indeed, it seems the reason that mandates do not exist in regards to the submission of DNA material or other biometric, video, audio, or location data is the fact that most of that data is being submitted voluntarily. Unfortunately, it appears that the U.S. government gathers vastly larger amounts of data by simply allowing the American people to deliver it to them more neatly packaged than it ever could be obtained by force.

From social networking sites to all other online communications, Americans can be expected to rattle off their personal business, connections, and innermost secrets in the silent presence of multi-national corporations that are themselves just one manifestation of the global intelligence and surveillance network. In addition, with various smartphone apps such as the Google Wallet or the increasing move towards a cashless society, biometric data is also becoming shared information on a much more routine basis.

Easily concealed from a public whose attention span last little longer than five minutes and who has been brainwashed to believe that Corporations and Governments are entirely separate and incapable of sharing information, the source of the data is both volunteered by the vast majority of Americans via various Corporate technologies sold to the consuming masses, data mining operations, cleverly worded collection attempts, and, whenever necessary, mandates.

The reality, however, is that both corporations and many apparently charitable organizations are connected at the hip with government agencies and the Total Information Awareness intelligence gathering apparatus.

With the clear evidence of collaboration between major corporations like Google, Facebook, and the U.S. intelligence community, it should come as no surprise that any and all electronic data processed by these firms goes directly back to agencies such as the NSA, CIA, and other relevant spook organizations. Yet, major corporations like Google are eager to take the absorption of DNA information to the next level.

For instance, in 2008, Google announced that it had invested $4.4 million in 23andMe, a genetic screening company which was actually started by Anne Wojcicki, the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, along with another business partner. Google also invested heavily in another DNA –screening company, Navigenics.

As Marjorie Backman of Bloomberg Businessweek writes,
For a spit of saliva and $2,500, your genetic test results are securely delivered to your computer screen with your genetic likelihood for 18 medical conditions, from Alzheimer's to rheumatoid arthritis to several types of cancer. Navigenics aims to boost disease prevention by providing customers reports on their DNA that they can share with their doctors. The company addresses privacy concerns by encrypting customer identities, and screens only for conditions it deems to have scientifically sound genetic studies. The company also offers genetic counseling.
Interestingly enough, in what might be considered consumer preparation for individual biometrics-based software in everyday life, Google has also recently unveiled the Mobile Personality Test app, where users scan their fingers in order to have their “mobile personality type” evaluated and read back to them. Although the app actually works by comparing the apps currently installed, the operative (and seemingly needless, unless the app is indeed consumer prep at work) initiation of the technology requires a finger scan for the process to begin.

Yet, for whatever information rendered to the consumer by virtue of the companies mentioned above, if the acquisition of DNA material is in any way involved, one need not only assume but rest assured that the information taken in by the corporation will be vastly higher and more important than any interesting or entertaining information given out.

Of course, Google and the aforementioned DNA screening companies are not the only institutions attempting to gain access to DNA material. In fact, one of the most disturbing groups (outside government itself) that have embarked on a mission to acquire DNA samples is the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry.

Known as MasoniChip, the program is openly administered by the Grand Lodge and is operated with the support of governments in both the United States and Canada. Indeed, MasoniChip has received so much support from the government sector that many have been duped into believing that it is merely a government program being supported by the Masons even though the reality is actually the opposite.

MasoniChip promoters set up fairs, advertise the program through local school districts and enter into partnerships with local law enforcement. In typical form, the mainstream media also promotes the program and the organization, which apparently has possession of its own police dog, Mason.

For those who may be in the dark as to what MasoniChip is, Amy MacPherson of the Huffington Post describes the program is this manner:
It begins on the surface as a child identification project, in case your loved ones are ever to be horrendously abducted. Parents are familiar with at-home kits to record their kids' vital information, for protection against the greatest of all fears to be inflicted on a family. Normally height, weight, hair and eye colour are recorded, along with a set of fingerprints and hopefully a current photograph. It's just the good folks at your local Masonic Lodge saw fit to take things further.
With advances in technology, they began to offer digital fingerprints, digital imaging, digital video, dental impressions and DNA mouth swabs. This data processing is managed by their proprietary software that's designed to be compatible with local and national law enforcement. This is after all, a campaign created by police in the brotherhood regardless of its private funding.

Yet, for all the conflation between the Masonic program with government involvement, the truth is that the program is entirely private – meaning it belongs to the Grand Lodge. The Freemason’s own website clearly states that this is the case by writing,
We the Freemasons are the sole "sponsor" of the Masonic Safety Identification initiatives as developed in our various Masonic Grand Lodge Jurisdictions. As such we schedule the Events and coordinate the equipment, materials and volunteers necessary to conduct events. All groups and individuals are welcome to work alongside, but they are not referred as sponsors but listed and involved as "supporters", "supporting partners", "corporate partners", "in collaboration with", or "in cooperation with."
MasoniChip states that, in addition to recording the children’s data themselves, it will provide its own “health care professionals” to collect the DNA samples at whatever event the DNA gathering is scheduled to occur.

As MacPherson writes,
There is no way to guarantee what happens behind closed doors and although they claim to delete sensitive information (the Canadian website states "No information is ever stored by the MasoniChIP program"), any computer savvy person knows that clicking an "x" isn't permanent unless you format the entire system. 
Parents are asked to trust an intriguing, private fraternity; to ensure that quality standards are met and family privacy is legally respected without any kind of oversight. Because Freemasons fund 100 per cent of the initiative, there is no opportunity to discuss issues regarding data ownership or how they feel about those technicalities in the privacy of their meetings. 
( . . . ) 
With somber scrutiny and if further tragedy struck, authorities would match remains with parental samples for definitive confirmation. It is the parents' DNA that could aid in matching the unnamed, but only accredited laboratories are permitted to conduct the process. Whether a parent or child, collecting DNA cannot occur at an open park event, run by stranger volunteers and become admissible to the national database. The FBI continually quotes the DNA Identification Act of 1994 in establishing these requirements to be included within CODIS. 
It is with great sadness for grieving families that we must note the Freemason project is not supported by government DNA databases.
Overall, MacPherson accurately concludes that “the most controversial component of the MasoniChip undertaking is not recognized for the purpose they advertise and state to parents.” Of course, regardless of the stated reasons for acquiring the DNA samples, a massive DNA database is being created. The MasoniChip program itself has registered over 1.5 million children by the end of 2012 and is apparently going to be extended to seniors and the disabled in the near future.

In the conclusion to her article, MacPherson asked the question, “And why is the face of government through public schools or police through public events, being placed on an effort from private organizations to mislead parents?”

The answer, of course, is clear so long as one is not concerned with being labeled a conspiracy theorist. Parents are being mislead by the tacit cooperation of the government because there is an agenda afoot – namely, the massive absorption of all available information (in this particular instance, DNA), for the creation of a Total Information Awareness Network.

In keeping with the upsweep in genetic information, consider the fact that programs such as MasoniChip are perhaps more effective at grabbing a few of the stragglers left out of the initial DNA database efforts than acting as the main method of acquisition.

For instance, as Council For Responsible Genetics points out in its 43-page report, “Newborn Screening In America: Problems and Policies,” “ninety-eight percent of the 4.3 million babies born annually in the United States have a small sample of blood taken from their heels.”

Council For Responsible Genetics continues by stating, “These newborn bloodspots (NBS) are then screened by state agencies for a variety of inherited conditions and may later be stored in state-operated databases with access permitted to researchers.” It also says,
Newborn screening is one of the few forms of genetic testing to which almost everyone is exposed. Yet parental knowledge of newborn screening is almost non-existent. Indeed many parents are unaware that their children have even undergone such testing, let alone that their child’s DNA has been collected and stored by the state.
Thus, a program which began in the 1960s under the auspices of screening newborns for phenylketonuria (PKU) in the state of Massachusetts has now grown to encompass virtually every single newborn in the United States. Aside from the fact that genetic causes for diseases is by no means an exact science and that there is little evidence that there is any “genetic treatment” that is actually effective, the idea of testing children for potential health issues is not, in and of itself, a frightening prospect. What is at issue is that the DNA material of virtually every American newborn is now being collected at birth, placed in a database operated by the government which parents are even largely unaware, and that material is subsequently provided to “researchers.”

As Jon Rappoport writes,
Reliable and trustworthy assurances of citizen-privacy from the government have gone the way of the dinosaur and other extinct species. 
Let’s see…DNA samples of nearly every newborn baby in America: surveillance and tracking, anyone? We have here the makings of a universal DNA database for “crime prevention.” 
( . . . )
What about technocrats obsessed with re-engineering humans? What about other researchers who want to run comparative DNA studies in thousands of different ways, for any purpose under the sun—who for example are intensely interested in making (or inventing) genetic distinctions between various socioeconomic sectors of society? This newborn database is irresistible. 
You can be sure social, medical, and genetic engineers are looking at all this raw data like wild animals look at prey on the plains.
Thus, it is important to note that, while many may fear a top-down decree requiring all adult American citizens to turn over their DNA material to the federal or state governments, the fact is that such a decree is only necessary to acquire material from those individuals whose genetic information was not obtained at birth.

Soon enough, however, as the population ages, there will be very few members of the population whose information has not been extracted at birth. For those few who have managed to avoid the DNA database, there will always be the requirement to submit DNA upon arrest as the result of such programs as those unveiled in Maryland and at least 21 other states.

Although there have been numerous challenges to such laws and programs, with the Supreme Court evaluating a decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals that the individuals arrested have a “weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches” and that this expectation is not superseded by the state’s “purported interest in assuring proper identification.”

In what would only further the abuse of perceived legal authority in the acquirement of DNA from arrestees and codify the practice by virtue of legal precedent, Chief Justice John Roberts has already stayed the Maryland court decision and has actually indicated that there was a “fair prospect” that the Supreme Court would reverse the decision. Such a ruling, of course, would not be surprising considering the fact that the US courts have not only been derelict in their responsibility to protect the rights of the American people but that they have been outright hostile to them, particularly in recent years.

Any court that rules it constitutional to force individuals to buy private products or to strip search non-violent arrestees with impunity and no probable cause is one that holds very little hope for the survival of privacy, the Constitution, or human rights.

In the end, in a police state such as the United States, it has become almost inevitable that any individual, whether engaged in criminal activity or not, will have some contact with the agents of the ever-increasing totalitarian system. The “DNA upon arrest” requirements will then nab up the occasional straggler that managed to escape the initial program at birth.

Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of three books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, and Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident. Turbeville has published over 200 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

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