July 14, 2015
Never a country known for its human rights and civil liberties, Kuwait is now attempting to take the lead in the Gulf for the country most integrated with the technological control grid and biometric surveillance state.
This is because the small nation recently announced the passage of a law that mandates every person residing in Kuwait must submit to a DNA sample that will be stored in a massive database upon penalty of fines and jail time.
Kuwait has 1.3 million citizens that will be subject to the law but its 2.9 million foreign residents are subject as well.
Any person who refuses to submit to the DNA tests and data mining operation will be subject to $33,000 in fines and up to one year in prison. Any person who provides a fake sample will face up to seven years.
Kuwait passed this law conveniently after an Islamic State (and thus NATO-directed) bombing of a Shiite mosque on June 26. The law is being justified as a way to make it easier for law enforcement to track down criminals and terrorists after the attacks have been committed. Thus, the incident stands as another Problem-Reaction-Solution-style terrorist attack justifying an even more totalitarian police state response.
“We have approved the DNA testing law and approved the additional funding. We are prepared to approve anything needed to boost security measures in the country,” independent MP Jamal Al Omar said.
Kuwait now stands as the only country in the world that makes DNA tests and participation in a DNA database compulsory. But is it just the first?
After all, many countries including England, Australia, Sweden, and the United States maintain stored databases of the DNA of convicted criminals with the United States maintaining a database of the DNA of even those who have merely been arrested but not convicted. In addition, the U.S. database also maintains the DNA of missing persons and their families.
Now, with the exception of Kuwait, the United States maintains the world’s largest DNA database.
The growing number of countries building, maintaining, and subsequently mandating various forms of biometric identification and biometric databases is not only concerning, it is becoming the norm.
In 2012, India launched a nationwide program involving the allocation of a Unique Identification Number (UID) to every single one of its 1.2 billion residents. Each of the numbers are tied to the biometric data of the recipient using three different forms of information – fingerprints, iris scans, and pictures of the face. All ten digits of the hand will be recorded, and both eyes are scanned.
The Japanese have had a mandatory national UID system in place since 2002, under the Basic Resident Register (BRR) program. Under the BRR, each individual must provide their name, birthdate, gender, and physical address to municipal governments who, in turn, issue the citizen a UID. However, an update to the initiative, called My Number Bill, was introduced in February 2012 that streamlined the information sharing process between government tax, social security, and emergency mitigation agencies. This was merely the next phase toward the goal of the Japanese government to centralize already-collected information about each one of its citizens and to expand this program to contain even more data. The information collected on Japanese citizens under their current system is fed into a nationwide computer database known as the Juki-net, which is made up of 3,200 municipal governments. The Juki-net serves as the common data sharing database between the municipal governments and, to some extent, the central government.
Israel also has a mandatory biometrics program.
As Justin Lee writes for BiometricUpdate.com,
Initially passed by the Knesset in December 2009, the Biometric Database Law mandates the collection of fingerprints and facial images from all Israeli residents, as well as integrating these biometric details in domestic ID cards and national passports.While most of the data collection and database storage via biometrics in the United States is rolled out under the auspices of greater convenience, concepts such as biometric programs for food stamp recipients, and employee tagging are gaining traction, indicating that the push for the eventual mandating of participation in such programs is clearly not far off.
The legislation also called for the creation of a biometric government database for the purpose of managing access control, identification of individuals and to help law enforcement officials locate criminal suspects.
The law is intended to curb identity theft, as well as the loss, theft and destruction of the current blue ID cards issued by the Interior Ministry.
In a report submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office and to the Knesset Chairman, Erdan emphasized the importance of implementing the biometric system and said the transition would be gradual.
“Smart biometric records that cannot be faked […] will lead to the full protection of the identity of Israeli citizens,” Erdan told Channel 10. “It will provide a balance between our duty to ensure the security of citizens and our duty to protect their privacy. We will promote a gradual transition to mandatory biometric documentation.”
The first phase of the biometric identification system was implemented in June 2013, and since then, some 640,000 people have volunteered to submit their biometric details to the database, said Erdan.
Kuwait may be the first in terms of mandating DNA database participation in the world, but it is only first. Kuwait simply stands as the latest country to make a step forward in the international game of leap frog toward a global surveillance state, technological control grid, and total prison planet.
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