In news sure to further anger privacy advocates comes the announcement that the National Security Administration is capturing and storing the DNA of every person it maintains a record of in its database. Reporters studying the treasure trove of information provided to the Guardian newspaper by Eric Snowden uncovered the information while sifting through the massive database he provided. Currently the NSA has correlated the DNA of approximately 43% of United States citizens, and about 87% of all international citizens it tracks on a regular basis. The disparity in the numbers lie in the fact that while the NSA is gathering information on all US citizens it has a more vested interest in the international persons of interest it tracks.
DNA records of US citizens have been largely accumulated through military records, which began recording genetic information on its members in 1993, criminal databases, medical records and blood banks as well as commercial and institutional genetic testing facilities where a definitive correlation between the individuals identity and their DNA profile were concrete. The genetic records of international citizens was gathered from similar sources as well as through military and intelligence agency operatives. The international profiles include persons suspected of terrorism as well as political and business leaders and diplomats.
Researchers searching for insights into the NSA’s activities had initially been puzzled by the seemingly random strings of digits found in large portions of the data released by the Guardian newspaper that Snowden had provided, believing it to be garbage data meant to occupy space for future information. Investigators however noticed the information seemed to be comprised of largely four basic markers and soon concluded that it represented a database for the genetic makeup of each individual. Digging deeper they were able to discover a pattern revealing a strategy to correlate the information into a searchable, relational database that would offer such fine grained information as the individuals physical characteristics, paternity and hereditary traits. Also revealing were what appear to be early efforts to coordinate the DNA information with all other information the NSA stores on individuals, perhaps making available a complete profile of a person that would include everything known about them from the color of their eyes to the types of movies they watch and when and who with.
US citizens inclusion in the database is particularly troubling given the depth of information available and the stated privacy concerns of the nations current administration. Indications are that systems are in place to gather information as diverse as a persons shopping habits, political tendencies, health and eating habits and their social interactions. It is projected that by 2017 the saturation of this relational database will reach 94% as new information becomes available when baby-boomers seek health health care, and more people enter the system through the Affordable Care Act, which mandates blood testing.
The thorough invasive nature of the program is revealed when one understands that the NSA is now capable of relating genetic information to the information it gathers from phone and internet providers, social and business networking, financial and retail institutions and other sources. The researchers studying Snowden’s files have hinted that they have uncovered more startling information they will release when confirmed that may prove that the NSA is doing more than just gathering this info but actively using it to manipulate both individuals and entities.
The Yellow Press obtained this information prior to its formal release date as an incentive to others to reveal the truth behind what is really going on. If you have information you would like to share please let us know.