Breathe it in, surrender and celebrate

Dr. Julie TwoMoon ~ The Divine calls us to believe in timelines of infinite capacity… see past right now, know with unshakable brilliance that right now is one moment, not the whole picture, and that picture… man is it magnificent.

Stop getting caught in the BUT and start being excited for the YES.

This, right now, this is what it is, you are in the midst of a soul appointment, the funny thing about soul appointments is, you don’t realize it when you are in one. But this, this moment, this challenge, this step, it’s important, don’t skip it, don’t wish it away, don’t pine for it to leave, because this step is magical.

We are called into our brilliance, stop thinking that brilliance is easy and start KNOWING you are up to the task, you were made for this.

Create, play, speak, laugh, sing, dance and BE NOW, this moment is everything and nothing, which is why it is time to breathe it in, surrender and celebrate and get ready for some BIG MAGIC!

press
 
 
Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

Real ID ~ Each State Has Its’ Own Deadline

Eventually all domestic flyers will need a REAL ID-compliant license or other form of identification to fly. The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

CLICK on State or Territory for Deadline, Details and Updates

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas

Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

TERRITORIES
American Samoa
Guam
N. Marianas
Puerto Ric
US Virgin Islands

REAL ID is hacker-bait and puts personal and national security at risk, complicates travel, admittance to federal facilities and you’ll need a to purchase a license or ID even if yours is still valid and doesn’t require renewal for a couple of years. AND not complying can get your driver’s license or state ID revoked.

The REAL ID Act requires state motor vehicle divisions to open their database to all other states. It’s a hub and spoke system, a decentralized “distributed database” with a central hub, 50 state spokes and a pointer system. States must send a list of data to the hub, which acts as a central index of all drivers and ID holders. The system is called “State to State Exchange”

The FBI is spending over $1 billion to create the world’s largest biometric database and the driver’s license itself is a red herring. The goal of TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and DHS (Homeland Security) is to eliminate the need for ID documentation and focus on the use of biometrics. REAL ID is an unconstitutional power grab eliminating state’s rights and giving the federal government control over all citizens identification, movement, and access to goods and services. Real ID is a national ID, yet both Interpol and Nlets (International Justice and Public Safety Network are using the standards of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) for collection and the sharing of biometrics. The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) has also adopted the ISO standard(s). When it comes to identification, it does not matter whether an individual is in Paris, Texas or Paris, France, Los Ángeles, Chile or Los Angeles California the individual can be identified by the use of facial recognition software and the use of international telecommunication systems/networks. Nlets acknowledges it does share biometric information/data/samples with countries all over the world and one of the primary sources of information provided is state DMV databases.

At this point in time, our privacy has actually been somewhat protected by the fact all collected information still remains scattered across many different databases. But once the government, landlords, employers, or other powerful forces gain the ability to draw together all this information, our privacy will be destroyed. This is exactly what a national identity system would facilitate. A national ID facilitates tracking. When a police officer or security guard scans your ID card with a pocket bar-code reader, it will likely create a permanent record including, but not limited to your name, license number, the date and time as well as your location.

How long before office buildings, doctors’ offices, gas stations, highway tolls, subways, and buses incorporate the ID card into their security or payment systems for greater efficiency? The end result could be a situation where citizens’ movements inside their own country are monitored and recorded through these “internal passports.”

DMV offices will continue to appear as state offices, but under Real ID Act DMV offices become agents acting on behalf of the federal government charged with administering are forcing clerks to become federal immigration officials; verifying citizenship status and adjudicating who can and cannot be given a license despite the complexity of numerous categories and complex technicalities comprising immigration laws. A REAL ID amounts to an internal passport moving State DMVs away from licensing drivers to targeting immigrants who can’t prove they’re in enumerated lawful immigration status through verified documentary evidence, inevitably causing discrimination against those who may “look” or “sound” “foreign”.

Because of the new document requirements, the labor-intensive complexities involved in verifying documents, and the need for DMVs to reprocess the bulk of the population already possessing driver’s licenses, individuals will receive slower service, longer lines, and the need for repeat visits to the DMV. Out of a population of 290 million residents, there are approximately 194 million licensed drivers. In addition to the millions of children, teenagers, and the elderly are particularly likely to lack licenses. The complicated yet often ambiguous maze of requirements created by the Act will throw many unlucky people into a bureaucratic quagmire as they try to overcome inflexible verification requirements, bureaucratic errors or mismatches, lost documents, unique circumstances, or other problems. Some individuals, inevitably, will find themselves unable to obtain these new identity papers. In addition, for many low-income workers, taking off time work is difficult and expensive, the need for repeated trips to the DMV and other agencies such as registrar’s offices in search of birth certificates would be an even greater burden. And because the Act’s mandates would cost states billions of dollars which Congress refuses to pay, fees on drivers licenses will inevitably rise, and in all probability, State taxes will continue to escalate.

By definitively turning driver’s licenses into national identity documents, Real ID would have a tremendously destructive impact on privacy. The creation of a single interlinked database as well as the requirement that each DMV store copies of all the birth certificates and other documents presented will create a one-stop shop for identity thieves. Failure to include adequate privacy and security safeguards for this massive national identification database. Real ID will ultimately become a key infrastructure for and dramatically accelerate, the surveillance society already being constructed in the United States. Once put in place, it will be used more and more for the routine tracking, monitoring, and regulation of individuals’ movements and activities, exploiting the private sector, and expose individuals to a greater risk of identity theft and other security risks. The centralized database will inevitably, over time, become the repository for more and more data on individuals over an ever-wider set of purposes. The ability of hackers to gain access to the personal information of over 240 million US Citizens. The system is only as good as its weakest link and DHS admits there are minimum standards required of the states. As it is, nearly 10 million people, or 5% of U.S. adults, were victims of identity theft. The security problems with creating concentrated databases have been repeatedly demonstrated over the years, most recently in the rash of cases where information held by commercial database companies has fallen into the hands of identity thieves or others. AND if a thief has obtained someone’s REAL ID compliant state ID, it can be hard for the victim of identity theft to verify their own identity when traveling, moving to a new state, getting a job, or conducting business with a financial institution or government agency.

Remember, if you can’t provide an acceptable form of identification, you won’t be permitted through security checkpoints which means your expensive airline or train ticket is money down the drain; a missed court date may constitute a failure to appear warrant and may eventually even hinder people from picking up medical prescriptions, entering national parks and Social Security offices,

Instead of preventing disaster, Real ID is only bringing more issues by dividing people into documented/ undocumented and doesn’t create a safer atmosphere nor will it prevent terrorism in public spaces.

CITATIONS:

Americans Clueless about Danger of REAL ID
https://www.cchfreedom.org/cchf.php/1250

DHS ~ Homeland Security – States and Territories
https://www.dhs.gov/real-id
https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs

TSA Reminds Travelers of REAL ID Identification Requirements
https://www.dhs.gov/news/2019/04/04/tsa-reminds-travelers-real-id-identification-requirements

International Organization for Standardization
https://www.iso.org/about-us.html

ICAO ~ International Civil Aviation Organization
https://www.icao.int/Pages/default.aspx

Nlets ~ International Justice and Public Safety Network
https://classic.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/0904JUSTICENLETS.PDF

Real ID cannot be used for International Air Travel ~ Travel.State.Gov ~ U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/card.html

Real ID will divide us into Documented and Undocumented
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-ulin-real-id-20180730-story.html

Are you ready for fingerprinting in exchange for a faster experience at the airport?
https://www.corporatetravelsafety.com/safety-tips/fingerprinting-need-know-tsa-precheck/

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

Follow @OurVoicesEcho

The Walk

by Matthew Borke
Standing Rock Stories ~ February 26th 2017

It was 3 days since militarized forces raided Oceti Sakowin on Feb. 23rd, 46 of us were arrested and Keisha. Thanks to bail funds, we were released in less than 24 hours. They claimed all our digital devices as evidence, bulldozed our homes, and impounded our vehicles.

The word came into Standing Rock Res that they were preparing to raid yet again. And roadblocks began to appear.

So I began to walk back to Mandan where our arraignment was scheduled. They allowed Keisha a seat in the Patty Wagon the first time. I was not so sure that would happen again. For the first raid, they abandoned all the animals as the officer expressed to me that the decision was preordained.

Keisha, the official camp mascot of Standing Rock; Keisha was the only dog to get arrested with her owner Matthew Borke

So I began to walk towards the roadblock on 1806. Knowing that 1806 is the shortest route, and it was February in North Dakota. I was not sure how far it was, as GPS was no longer available without Digital Devices.

Soon, I approached the roadblock at the Cannon Ball Bridge. A National Parks Ranger From San Francisco got into full riot gear before approaching me with a BIA officer.

I expressed to them, my need to get to court. And they were blocking the shortest, safest route. Several other uniforms began to appear. I expressed the need to understand why they would not let me take the safest route. And know that the “trouble” was dispersed, why would they say the route was dangerous? Another officer called for a vehicle with the cage in it. I thought, how thoughtful to think about Keisha. But then realized, the cage was for me… I even asked if they could give me a ride to the other side of the “danger” zone. They assured me, that if i was to enter any of the vehicles, they would take me back to jail. Although, it was where court was. So I asked the Park Ranger, a known deputized BIA agent, that needed some type of paperwork to reference in my court case. Even a business card. Which no officer was willing to provide. So he wrote down his name and badge number on a piece of paper. It Said, Officer Corn. I was shocked and replied, “You’re from the Corn Family, I’m from The Corn Family Too” (Which is True). He did not appear amused. So I agreed to take the long way around.

A BIA and State Trooper agents “marshaled” me back to the Pit Stop Road Block. Making sure i would not turn into Cheyenne River Camp. No stopping, or breaking, straight out the roadblocks they claimed.

When arriving to the Pit Stop Road Block, i politely asked the State Trooper if he would me rather, walk in the center of the road, or go around the roadblock. he responded that he no longer cared but it sparked a small conversation.

The BIA agent behind me, got on his loudspeaker and began cracking jokes about Keisha and her bones. I chuckled, which caused the state trooper to react and say, “Are you Laughing At Me?” I expressed the BIA actions and it made for a decent ice breaker. The officer began to express to me why the officers took off their badges. And told me, “I remember you from the Raid. You were arrested for trespassing.” I told him that’s incorrect. He expressed again his truth.

“Officer, I was arrested for “Interfering with a Government Function. Would you like to see my arrest papers? This is why we have a conflict of interest. I know this to be true yet your telling me otherwise. While I have your attention, You enforce Code, not Law. What sections of the Codes do you study?”

“Uh, I’m a State Trooper, so I study Penal Codes and Traffic Codes.”
“You do not study Safety Codes?”
“No”
“So Why then Does It Say Safety On Your Vehicle?”
“Wow, your actually coming at this rather peacefully.”
“Well Thank you”

We carried on with discussion a little longer as he talked about how much Fecal Matter was in Camp. I told him it was very muddy and attempted to explain to him the process of the composting toilets that we built. Which definitely was a necessity since the porta potties froze back in early December.

He Claimed:
“I slipped in it.”
“Are you sure, it is rather muddy. Did you test it?”
“I Don’t need to. I still have a bag of it in the back of my squad car.”

At this time, i realized that our conversations were over. He had a garbage bag from our composting toilets in the trunk of his car… Apparently to show his buddies…

“uh, Keisha and i gotta go. We have a long walk ahead of us.”

press

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

The Lobotomy of Rosemary Kennedy

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe


Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy was the oldest daughter born to Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. She was a sister of President of the United States John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. Rose and Joe Kennedy tried to erase all detail about their handicapped daughter. Many do not know her sad tale.

September 13, 1918: When Rose Kennedy went into labor with Rosemary, her third child, the nurse who was caring for her was reluctant to deliver a baby without a physician on hand. Though the nurse had the necessary training, when the doctor’s arrival was delayed she demanded Rose “hold her legs together tightly in the hope of delaying the baby’s birth.” When that failed, she resorted to “holding the baby’s head and forcing it back into the birth canal for two excruciating hours.”

As Rosemary grew into toddlerhood, Rose noticed she “was not like the others.” By kindergarten, Rosemary was called “retarded,” in the lingo of the times, and such children were considered defective. For Joe Kennedy, obsessed with the family image, it was a disaster. Rosemary never proceeded mentally beyond third or fourth-grade intelligence and she was packed off to a boarding school for misfits.


The family did their best to incorporate her into their daily lives, taking her sailing and making sure she was always asked to dance at parties. But as Rosemary got older, she began to have tantrums that sometimes turned violent. At the same time, her voluptuous figure was attracting male attention, and Joe became concerned: an unwanted pregnancy in the family could damage his sons’ political future.

Dr. James Watts carried out a frontal lobotomy on Rosemary Kennedy’s brain at a facility in upstate New York in November 1941. Rosemary’s father, Joe Kennedy scheduled Rosemary for a lobotomy without his wife’s knowledge; an experimental procedure meant to make mentally ill patients more docile. The surgery, involved drilling holes on both sides of Rosemary’s head, inserting a spatula into her cranium near the frontal lobes and turning and scraping. Throughout the entire procedure, Rosemary was awake, speaking with doctors and reciting poems to nurses. They knew the procedure was over when she stopped speaking. A psychiatrist present at the lobotomy asked Rosemary to tell him stories and repeat the months of the year. The doctor kept scraping away brain tissue until Rosemary could no longer talk. The surgery was botched and Rosemary emerged almost completely disabled.

Following the lobotomy, Rosemary could barely walk and knew only a few words. Since Rosemary could no longer speak or walk. She was moved to an institution and spent months in physical therapy before she regained movement, and even then it was only partially in one arm. She would spend most of her life hidden away from the world and even her own family. After housing her in a psychiatric facility in upstate New York for seven years, Joe ordered his daughter sent to Saint Coletta and never saw her again. Her siblings didn’t see her for two decades.

Rosemary Kennedy spent 20 years in the institution, unable to speak, walk, or see her family. It wasn’t until after Joe suffered a massive stroke her mother Rose went to go see her daughter again. In a panicked rage, Rosemary attacked her, unable to express herself any other way. It seemed, despite all the covering up, she still remembered her mother and what had been done to her.

After being reunited with her family, Rosemary Kennedy lived out the rest of her life in Saint Coletta’s, a residential care facility in Jefferson, Wisconsin, until her death in 2005 at 86 years of age.

The Kennedy’s, having realized what they had done began to champion rights for the mentally disabled. John F. Kennedy would use his presidency to sign the Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendment to the Social Security Act, the precursor to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which his brother Ted pushed for during his time as a senator. Eunice Kennedy, JFK and Rosemary’s sister also founded the Special Olympics in 1962, to champion the achievements and abilities of the physically and mentally disabled.

Excerpts from the books:
Kate Clifford Larson “The Hidden Kennedy Daughter”
Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff “The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women”
https://www.amazon.com/Rosemary-Daughter-Kate-Clifford-Larson/dp/0544811909

press

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

Theft of DNA Ownership Rights

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

“DISCOVER ANCESTORS. STRENGTHEN FAMILY TIES. UNDERSTAND YOUR LIFE.”

Aided by venture capital and a flood of savvy marketing, Ancestry LLC has grown to become the world’s largest DNA testing conglomerate. Since 2012, it has lured more than 9 million people to spit into tubes and add their genetic code to the world’s largest private database of DNA. It has also banked away the world’s largest collection of human spittle, numbering in the hundreds of gallons.

In the age of Facebook and Google, consumers seem comfortable surrendering their personal information to corporations which collect and convert non-revenue generating assets into sources of revenue. But Ancestry and other DNA testing companies have added an audacious tweak: Consumers are now paying to hand over their genetic code, their most sensitive individual identifier, to companies monetizing it far into the future.

Ancestry.com takes DNA ownership rights from customers and their relatives. Giving them your DNA sample does not just affect you, it also puts your family and relatives at risk. According to their legal contracts, you still own your DNA, but so does Ancestry.com. DNA and genetic data Ancestry collects may be used against “you or a genetic relative.” According to its privacy policies, Ancestry takes ownership of your DNA forever. Your ownership of your DNA, on the other hand, is limited in years.

There are three significant provisions in the Ancestry DNA Privacy Policy and Terms of Service to consider on behalf of yourself and your genetic relatives: (1) the perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide license to use your DNA; (2) the warning that DNA information may be used against “you or a genetic relative”; (3) your waiver of legal rights.

By submitting DNA you agree to “grant AncestryDNA and the Ancestry Group Companies a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, transferable license to use your DNA, and any DNA you submit for any person from whom you obtained legal authorization as described in this Agreement, and to use, host, sublicense and distribute the resulting analysis to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known, or hereafter developed or discovered.”

Basically, Ancestry.com gets to use or distribute your DNA for any research or commercial purpose it decides and doesn’t have to pay you, or your heirs, a dime. Furthermore, Ancestry.com takes this royalty-free license in perpetuity (for all time) and can distribute the results of your DNA tests anywhere in the world and with any technology which exists, or will ever be invented. With this single contractual provision, customers are granting Ancestry.com the broadest possible rights to own and exploit their genetic information.

Terms also require customers to confirm that, “You understand that by providing any DNA to us, you acquire no rights in any research or commercial products that may be developed by AncestryDNA that may relate to or otherwise embody your DNA.” Essentially, you still own your DNA, but so does Ancestry.com. And, you can commercialize your own DNA for money, but Ancestry.com is also allowed to monetize your DNA for millions of dollars and doesn’t have to compensate you.

Even if you’ve never used Ancestry.com, but one of your genetic relatives has, the company may already own identifiable portions of your DNA. Buried in the “Informed Consent” section, which is incorporated into the Terms of Service, Ancestry.com warns customers, “it is possible that information about you or a genetic relative could be revealed, such as that you or a relative are carriers of a particular disease. That information could be used by insurers to deny you insurance coverage, by law enforcement agencies to identify you or your relatives, and in some places, the data could be used by employers to deny employment.”

The Ancestry.com Terms of Service also warns that genetic information in its possession can be used by state or federal law enforcement agencies “to identify you or your relatives.” With the rise of forensic evidence in criminal investigations, DNA is often considered incontrovertible evidence. To propel the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigations and prosecutions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operates the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.

Ancestry.com takes no responsibility. By consenting to the AncestryDNA Terms and Conditions, “you or a genetic relative” agree to hold the company harmless for any damages that AncestryDNA may cause unintentionally or purposefully.

In the event you or your genetic information cause harm, you agree to “defend, indemnify and hold harmless AncestryDNA, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees).” And customers beware, “you may be liable to others as well as to us if your account is used in violation of the terms and conditions of this Agreement.” That means you could end up owing money to Ancestry.com, its attorneys, and others.

The final indignity for Ancestry.com customers is that they must waive fundamental legal rights by agreeing to mandatory binding arbitration. With the exception of intellectual property rights disputes and certain small claims, Ancestry.com customers must pursue their disputes through arbitration, rather than court. In arbitration, the established legal rules of discovery, evidence, and trial by jury do not exist.

Turning over your DNA means a loss of complete ownership and control. Ancestry.com customers should also know they’re giving up the genetic privacy of themselves and their relatives.

This information also applies to 23andMe and will also apply to any other DNA testing corporation.

As of Jan. 15, 2019 an ancestry report from 23andMe.com, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline now owns your genetic identity. Human DNA has now become a commodity, with 23andMe the world’s largest database of genetic code serving as the “new frontier” for pioneering drug-makers. British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline purchased a $300 million share in the genealogy company, which promises to tell you your ancestry in exchange for your DNA. But if people are concerned about their social security numbers being stolen, they should be even more concerned about their genetic information being misused. This information is never 100% safe. The risk is magnified when one organization shares it with a second organization. When information moves from one place to another, there’s always a chance for it to be intercepted by unintended third parties. As genetic profiling technologies evolve, 23andMe is serving as a translation service, turning living bodies into code that can be aggregated into big data. This big data represents big profit for big pharma, who can use it to create experimental drugs which can be marketed to consumers based on their genetic profiles. The FDA warns this includes an inherent risk of diagnoses and prescriptions based on false positives or false negatives for certain genetic traits.

23andMe can keep and sell its customers’ genetic information to others because consumers consent to the sale of their anonymous and aggregate information just by purchasing the product and agreeing to its privacy statement. The company can also sell deidentified individual-level data if the research consent document is signed.

They recently announced the drug company Genetech offered to pay up to $60 million to use its database to conduct Parkinson’s research. And the fact 23andMe can sell data puts a worrying spin on the proposed changes to consent for federally funded human research.

At the moment, federally funded researchers and private companies have the same standards for consent: If human biospecimens are not “identifiable,” they don’t have to ask for consent to use them for research.

REMEMBER:

Ancestry.com and 23andMe market their DNA kits with promises that tug at the heartstrings. Unless customers request otherwise, Ancestry adds people’s DNA data to its proprietary database, therefore, you are not just taking the test for you, you are taking it for the whole family. People must understand, turning over their DNA means a loss of complete ownership and control. Ancestry’s terms and conditions are long, and somewhat boring, but people should read them. They make a big deal of stating you own your DNA. But they are taking a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to do what they want with your DNA and your actual genetic sample they keep in storage. Ancestry allows customers to request their DNA analysis be erased from the company’s database after results are received, and request destruction of their remaining biological sample. BUT it is a two-step process, and customers must read deep into the company’s privacy statement to learn how to do it. Requests for DNA data elimination can be made online, BUT customers MUST call its support center to request destruction of their biological sample.

However, future owners could change privacy protections, including Ancestry’s promise not to share personal data with insurance companies. Ancestry’s terms and conditions state “We have the right to modify these terms or any additional terms that apply to a Service at any time.”

ANCESTRY.COM was founded by a pair of Brigham Young University graduates in the 1990s and was one of the early internet start-ups allowing customers to build their family trees online, accessing troves of information the company assembled. Paul B. Allen, one of the founders said it makes sense a family-tree internet company would arise in Utah, where the Mormon church has long kept extensive family history records. “This is the mother lode of genealogical research”.

Thirty years later, Ancestry is still based in Utah but has mushroomed into a multinational company operating in more than 30 countries, pulling in $1 billion in revenue in 2017. Its headquarters in Lehi, south of Salt Lake City, is home to 1,100 of the company’s 1,600 employees. The building features a display of lanterns, descending through several floors, meant to resemble DNA strands.

To really grasp the company’s rapid growth, one needs to visit one of Ancestry’s contractor labs, where the company sends customer’s genetic samples for analysis. One of these labs is in La Jolla, Calif., owned by Illumina, a leading company in sequencing and genotyping DNA. The kits and spit tubes Ancestry sends to Illumina do not have people’s names or addresses which is the only identifying marker reconnecting the results with individual customers. Like other DNA testing companies, Ancestry uses spit for genetic analysis because its an easy way for consumers to provide their DNA. Saliva contains white blood cells and cells from the inner lining of people’s mouths. A line of workers remove spit tubes from the kits, scanning their bar codes and checking for defects. Illumina isolates the DNA, then goes through a multi-step process of “amplifying”, processing and turning it into a machine-readable code, the entire process takes about four days. After Illumina finishes its analysis, the results are sent back to Ancestry marked only with bar codes to prevent disclosure of customer identities. The remainder of people’s biological sample is returned to Ancestry’s custody where they use the code to analyze a customer’s ethnicity. Ancestry then generates an ethnicity estimate which is forwarded to the person. Ancestry not only stores people’s genetic data, but the raw DNA itself, how long it will be stored, is unknown.

HACKING:

 Unidentified hackers last year accessed an Ancestry website, RootsWeb, compromising the sign-ins of 55,000 Ancestry customers who had the same log-in credentials with RootsWeb. The site has since been shut down. The incident received little attention but revealed how customers’ personal information could be accessed and exploited through Ancestry’s partnerships and acquisitions.

AncestryDNA, a subsidiary of Ancestry LLC marketing genetic testing, pledges to safeguard people’s private data. But the company has a history of changing the terms of its agreements with customers. In the most high-profile example, Ancestry in 2014 shut down MyFamily.com, a social networking site where more than 1.5 million users had posted family memories, photos and conversations. Numerous customers said they lost treasured family history because of inadequate notification from the company, which decided not to back up the data.

Ancestry claims to beat its competitors’ inaccurate analysis of a person’s ethnicity. But interviews with company officials reveal Ancestry has wide gaps in its ethnic markers for Asia and other sections of the world. Outside geneticists and anthropologists say Ancestry and other companies are making misleading claims about the accuracy of their ethnic analyses.

 Most Ancestry customers consent to have their DNA results, in a de-identified form, shared with the company’s research partners in the pursuit of sciences, including finding cures to diseases. But Ancestry’s main research partner is a secretive Google offshoot called Calico Life Sciences, which is focused on ways to extend human longevity through biotechnology. Critics have labeled Calico a “vanity project” of several Silicon Valley billionaires who want to extend their own lifespans.

IN CONCLUSION:
The U.S. government recently proposed revisions to the federal human subjects research regulations which would require federally funded researchers to get what is called “broad consent” from people to use their biospecimens (it is unclear what effect this would have on private/public collaborations). This would apply even if researchers won’t know who the specimens came from. Broad consent would include a general description of types of research which might be conducted with the biospecimen.

press
 
 
Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)