Skip to main content

“If you consider DNA to be a form of ID, and the Supreme Court has already upheld state laws that allow officers to stop someone and ask for their ID, then this is the logical next step.”

Washington, D.C. - The FBI will begin to collect the DNA profiles of individuals at an increased rate to add to the feds massive new biometric database called the Next Generation Identification (NGI) program.

What began as a national fingerprint system for people accused or convicted of committing a crime has morphed into a broad based biometric database that is designed to identify individuals through use of facial recognition, iris matching, tattoo recognition, as well as voice analysis and other unique traits of individuals, some of whom have never even been accused of a crime.

The FBI will hold a presentation for developers of rapid portable DNA analysis devices regarding its new NGI biometric database on November 13th.

Integration of these new devices into the NGI system will allow for officers in the field to analyze individuals complete DNA profile in less than 90 minutes and then upload the DNA profile to the NGI system.

The implications of this system are far reaching and could potentially lead to the creation of a nationwide database that contains the DNA profiles of any and all Americans, even those never convicted of committing a crime.

The U.S. Supreme court ruled in 2013, that,

“When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

This means that any time a person is arrested, the state has the right to take an individuals DNA. The problem stems from the fact that an arrest doesn’t make someone a criminal, as there is supposed to be a presumption of innocence until found guilty in a court of law.

This new system will streamline the process so that law enforcement can simply arrest and extract the most sacred thing you own as a human, your DNA, and the system will then upload your complete DNA profile to the NGI database.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

Since 2013, senior attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Jennifer Lynch, has been sounding the alarm regarding the potential privacy deconstruction using these portable, rapid DNA analyzers saying,

“If you leave something behind, let’s say your trash on the sidewalk out in front of your house, then you’ve abandoned any kind of privacy interest in the trash, and so the cops can search through that trash without a warrant. That reasoning has been extended to DNA — if you leave your DNA behind, then the cops could get it without a warrant and test it." according to NextGov.

In a frightening view of an Orwellian future, she puts forth the idea that a nationwide DNA system using rapid DNA analysis could become the standard form of identification, saying,

“If you consider DNA to be a form of ID, and the Supreme Court has already upheld state laws that allow officers to stop someone and ask for their ID, then this is the logical next step.”

Can you fathom being stopped but rather than being asked to present identification, being forced to provide a DNA sample as a means of identification?

Although the FBI claims it would not take DNA samples unlawfully, the NGI database has already procured biometric details, such as facial recognition data, from background checks of people attempting to purchase firearms and during the hiring process for jobs with government agencies.

Does anyone really believe the feds claims regarding this new technology in light of their previous track record?

Lynch went on to say,

“Your DNA data could be linked to all the other biometric and biographic information about you that is already in NGI. Because we discard DNA wherever we go, this allows the government the ability to further surveil people without their knowledge."

The potential for this technology to be utilized by law enforcement in ways that abuse the rights of law abiding citizens is clear. It seems that this is just another step along the path to a truly Orwellian future.

Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay's work has previously been published on and You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis and on Facebook at Sir Metropolis.