Friday, December 05, 2008

Freedom and anonymity

The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday said "no" to a UK system of storing DNA samples and fingerprints of people without criminal records. I wouldn't have thought such an absurd system would even have been in place, but there it was.

Needless to say, the ruling - which can't be appealed - was met with whining by British law enforcement types, but that's not a big shock. Inevitably, today's story included quotes about how many times the information's been used to scoop up badguys, but isn't that beside the point?

I know some people on the political fringes here complain about our lack of fundamental rights, or what they perceive as widespread violations of those enumerated by the Constitution, but this - to me - puts those complaints in perspective.

Under ordinary circumstances, at this point I would say, "Europe sucks!" but I like to visit, so I guess I'll just say some UK laws suck, so I wouldn't want to live there.

Doesn't have the same ring to it, though.

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