The Marxist State is collecting DNA of citizens in heavy-handed fashion (China)

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China’s massive effort to collect its people’s DNA concerns scientists

INTRO: A report revealing China’s effort to collect DNA from millions of men to help solve crimes is raising concerns among researchers about privacy and consent. They say people have little control over how their information is used, and probably do not understand the implications that DNA collection has for their families.

Chinese state media first reported the government’s intention to construct a national forensic DNA database in 2017. But a report released on 17 June compiled by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), a think tank in Canberra, reveals the scale, and key details, of the operation for the first time: for several years, police have been collecting DNA from men and school-aged boys across the country. They aim to collect and store genetic profiles of roughly 10% of the country’s male population — as many as 70 million people, according to the report.

The report estimates that those DNA profiles can be used to construct genetic links to China’s entire male population, roughly 700 million people. The Chinese government says the database will help it to track down criminals, who are mostly male. But the report also describes the operation as part of government efforts to “deepen” social control.

Scientists and human-rights activists say a genetic database containing information about people without a criminal history is unprecedented. “This is really unique. No other country is doing it,” says Mechthild Prinz, a forensic geneticist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “They just go and get people that are regular citizens. It is very heavy-handed,” she says.

Researchers also fear that police might use the database to persecute people who criticize the government. “This collection has nothing to do with crime — it has to do with oppression,” says Maya Wang, a researcher at the non-profit group Human Rights Watch in Hong Kong.

The ASPI report says that the database, which is run by China’s Ministry of Public Security, expands on previous DNA-collection efforts. Like other countries, China has a large database of DNA from suspected and convicted criminals. But it has also collected DNA from minority ethnic groups in Tibet and in the northwest province of Xinjiang, which has been criticized by human rights groups... (MORE)

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