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CODIS (Combined DNA Index System)

Written By Michael Reign on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 | 6:32 PM

The acknowledged successor to the TWGDAM (Technical Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods, its current status/ identity synonymous with the SWGDAM acronymic equivalency - In 2014 the various SWGs, also known as Scientific Working Groups, experienced an organizational restructuralization, with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, known collectively as NIST, commandeering the projects development. These findings evident in the following link: NIST OSAC - Organization For Scientific Area Committees - Hierarchal Structure) initiative, an intergovernmentally sanctioned standards of operation review committee tasked with the design and implementation of administrative tenets governing practice and application of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) test simulations in crime laboratories throughout North America (Primarily in Canada and the United States) during the latter portions of the 1980s. Sponsored by the FBI Laboratory, an interadministrative extension of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation occupying the role of forensic analysis support and information services provider (This judicially inspired appendage recognized as a consultation/ assistance firm of the FBI, as well as to state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the cartographical periphery of both Canada and the United States), TWGDAM representatives formulated the completion of a white paper assessment in October 1989 detailing the design and concept of an electronically generated storage repository/ database registry capable of housing, and eventually facilitating the distribution of DNA/ genome-specific sequence configurations to crime laboratories, a system similar in context to the automated fingerprint identification programs that were so prevalent during the 1980s.
The DNA Identification Act of 1994, specifically 42 U.S.C. §14132, authorized the creation of a National DNA Index (NDIS), the most recent aggregate compilation listed as follows:

The National DNA Index System (NDIS) contains over 11,592,430 offender1 profiles, 1,325,123 arrestee profiles and 607,173 forensic profiles as of January 2015. Ultimately, the success of the CODIS program will be measured by the crimes it helps to solve. CODIS’s primary metric, the “Investigation Aided,” tracks the number of criminal investigations where CODIS has added value to the investigative process. As of January 2015, CODIS has produced over 274,001 hits assisting in more than 261,501 investigations.

1Offender profiles include Convicted Offender, Detainee, and Legal profiles at NDIS


NDIS (National DNA Index System) Statistics, Current as of January 2015

The aforementioned legislative stipulation specifies the categories of data that may be maintained in NDIS (convicted offenders, arrestees, legal, detainees, forensic [pursuant to casework], unidentified human remains, missing persons and relatives of missing persons) as well as requirements for participating laboratories referencing the prospect of quality assurance, privacy, and expungement.

The DNA Identification Act, §14132(b)(3), specifies the access requirements for the DNA samples and records “maintained by federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies (or the Secretary of Defense in accordance with section 1565 of title 10, United States Code)” …and “allows disclosure of stored DNA samples and DNA analyses only — (A) to criminal justice agencies for law enforcement identification purposes; (B) in judicial proceedings, if otherwise admissible pursuant to applicable statutes or rules; (C) for criminal defense purposes, to a defendant, who shall have access to samples and analyses performed in connection with the case in which such defendant is charged; or (D) if personally identifiable information is removed, for a population statistics database, for identification research and protocol development purposes, or for quality control purposes.”

Federal law requires that laboratories submitting DNA information to NDIS are accredited by a nonprofit professional association of persons actively engaged in forensic science that is nationally recognized within the forensic science community. The following entities have been determined to satisfy this condition: the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) and Forensic Quality Services (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board FQS).

The NDIS later became a structural component of a much larger systems intelligence network, a digitally transcribed informational matrix known as CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), a fact evidenced in the following illustrations:

Figures 1 and 2. CODIS architectural schemas, inclusive of the NDIS registry, in addition to several supplemental affiliates — specifically the SDIS (State DNA Index System) - a state-by-state compilation of DNA identification records - as well as the LDIS (Local DNA Index System) - a city, municipality, and county-oriented compilation of genome-specific identifiers.
Figure 3. CODIS DNA Warehousing Inventory - A comparative analysis focusing on State Share of DNA Samples/ State Share of the U.S. Population
CODIS’s operational parameters are contingent on the presence of microsatellite delineations, commonly referred to as short tandem repeats (STRs - LINK 1, LINK 2) associated with the human genomic sequence - a series of two to six nucleotides deemed susceptible to the incidence of copy-number variation (CNV) polymorphisms. Loci applicable to the presence of these compartmentalized fluctuations are amplified through the introduction of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) - defined technologies, the analysis of which is determined by a process of gel-induced electrophoresis. The scope and significance of the DNA fragment mathematically proportional to the quantity of STRs - these combinative arrays of repetition at each distinguishable locus providing authorities with a distinctive genetic footprint that can be used to identify certain population segments - their reclassification as DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) allowing for their electronic transcription to participatory agencies within the Federal Government (The National Security Agency, Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives recognized as prime examples) as metadata derivatives.

CODIS employs the use of genetic markers positioned at the 13th STR loci, with the addition of a separate composite with the inclusion of Amelogenin (AMEL) as the standard prerequisite for gender assignation. The following illustrations, as well as their appended interpretation, offering further insight into the topic in question:

CSF1PO (Cytokine Stimulating Factor-1 Proto-Oncogene)
D3S1358 (D-Genomic Marker, 3rd Chromosomal Segment, 1358th locus)
D5S818 (D-Genomic Marker, 5th Chromosomal Segment, 818th locus)
D7S820 (D-Genomic Marker, 7th Chromosomal Segment, 820th locus)
D8S1179 (D-Genomic Marker, 8th Chromosomal Segment, 1179th locus)
D13S317 (D-Genomic Marker, 13th Chromosomal Segment, 317th locus)
D16S539 (D-Genomic Marker, 16th Chromosomal Segment, 539th locus)
D18S51 (D-Genomic Marker, 18th Chromosomal Segment, 51st locus)
D21S11 (D-Genomic Marker, 21st Chromosomal Segment, 11th locus)
FGA (Fibrinogen Gamma Allele)
TH01 (Tyrosine Hydroxylase Genetic Marker)
TPOX (Transaction Processing Over XML - Transaction Processing Over eXtensible Markup Language)
vWA (von Willenbrand Allele, genetic composite associated with the von Willenbrand Factor)

These autosomal variants can then be used by law enforcement agencies, forensic laboratories, and intergovernmental affiliates to ascertain the statistical probability of certain individuals to possess blood relation. In particular, of the 26 alleles that comprise a person’s CODIS-generated genome-specific identifier, 13 would have been inherited from each parent - thereby lending credence to the tendency of entities comprising the aforementioned industries to use genetic markers encompassing the 13th STR loci. Two siblings will, on average, exhibit chromosomal commonality, sharing half of their 26 CODIS alleles.
CODIS DNA tools can be used to take a person’s CODIS markers and determine some sense of the targeted individuals cultural and ethnic background, this is accomplished through a process of comparative analysis involving the aggregation of CODIS genetic imprints from various segments of the civilian population.


CODIS Genetic Markers: A Detailed Analysis
Legislative Directives and Agencies Associated With the Actualization of the CODIS Imperative
Debbie Smith Act of 2004 (42 U.S.C. 13701) - A legislative provision facilitating the allocation of U.S. Federal Government allotments (taxpayer funded monetary stipends) to eligible states and local administrative constituents in the execution of court ordered analyses of backlogged DNA samples obtained from victims and the perpetrators of criminal offenses. The act greatly expanded the Combined DNA Index System’s (CODIS’s) scope of influence, providing legal assistance to survivors of dating violence as part of a larger, more comprehensive article of legislation — the Justice for All Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-405), a provision signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on October 30, 2004. This measure amending three separate government-sponsored initiatives: the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 (H.R. 4640, 42 U.S.C. 14135), the DNA Identification Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 14132), as well as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2000. The Act was reauthorized in 2008, extending the availability of financial grants for DNA backlog reduction programs, DNA evidence training and education seminars, and sexual assault forensic examination studies through fiscal year 2014.

Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) - A nationally indexed automated fingerprint identification and criminal histories registry maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Providing for the inclusion of a programmatical fingerprint search/ query applicative extension, heightened electronically-generated image storage capability, and enhanced informational exchange/ transmissibility between agencies; IAFIS houses the fingerprints and criminal histories of 70 million subjects in its master file, and 31 million civil prints and imprints from 73,000 known and suspected terrorists processed by the U.S. or by internationally accredited law enforcement agencies. Individuals seeking employment opportunities or purchasing firearms from legitimate weapons manufacturers/ distribution centers become permanent fixtures within the database as background profile indices can then be recorded and cross referenced at the leisure of intergovernmental affiliates.

Next Generation Identification (NGI) - Acknowledged by many within the law enforcement community as the technological successor to the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS); Next Generation Identification, also known as NGI, is a multimodular extension of its predecessor, incorporating the use of biometric image resonance, facial recognition technologies, and unparalleled storage and recall database capacity. The following organizations responsible for its development:

BAE Systems
Figure 4. The createTank corporate logotype features the ‘666’ numeric as its principal identifier, the figure an emblazoned fixture of the business model in question.

Global Science & Technology (GST)
IBM (International Business Machines) Corporation
Ingersoll Consulting Information Solutions (ICIS)
Innovative Management & Technology Services (IMTS)
Lakota Software Solutions, Inc.
Lockheed Martin
National Center for State Courts (NCSC)
NTT Data
Platinum Solutions


FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI (Next Generation Identification) Facial Recognition Data Systems Network by 2015

The progenitors of the CODIS-generated technologies initially sought to use the system in the collection and analysis of DNA belonging to convicted sex offenders, however, since the program’s inception, the utilization of human-specific genomic sequences has expanded significantly to include the following population segments2:

Convicted felons
Members of the U.S. Armed Services following their conviction at a Special Court Martial proceeding

2 In several states whose legislative policies remain undisclosed to the general public, these records are inclusive of juvenile offenders as well as suspected criminal elements following their arrest and incarceration.

CONCLUSION: Proponents of the CODIS Imperative cite the programs efficacy in identifying, and, in turn, mitigating the incidence of certain crimes; however, this presupposed largesse of information has the potential to exacerbate conditions of preexisting institutionalized discrimination endemic to corporate monopolies, as well as their constituents within the Federal Government, that routinely abuse their positions of authority. It is also not beyond the scope of reason to apply assumptions of complicity to each of the individual compartmentalized facets of intergovernmental entities or their legislative/ regulatory protocol, as more often than not, the institutional prerogatives of these collectives are intertwined, a contention lending credence to the notion that storage repositories such as the National Security Agency Utah Data Center and the MAIN CORE database, along with the actualization of the ADEX Listing, are somehow aligned in purpose.
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