Can You Imagine a Future Where London Police Bees Conduct Genetic Surveillance?

Can You Imagine a Future Where London Police Bees Conduct Genetic Surveillance?

February 18, 2011 9:49 am 1 comment

genetic surveillance warning

Designer Thomas Thwaites (who built this DIY toaster with iron ore gathered by hand) has created a project called “Policing Genes,” envisioning a future in which bees are used for genetic surveillance:

Other than a few obvious illegal narcotic plants, it hadn’t occurred to me that the genetics of what is growing in a person’s garden could become a police matter. Even more intriguing/trippy was the possibility of the police using bees for surveillance and for forensically identifying the pollen that the bees came back with. If that pollen is genetically outside of the law, the police could use the bees to track a person right to the house he or she lives in. [...]

Thomas Thwaites, however, has put a great deal of thought into genetic engineering and the policing of those genes. Thwaites pointed out that the ability to insert genes into plants is now DIY technology available to both the amateur and the criminal. “Policing Genes speculates that, like other technologies, genetic engineering will also find a use outside the law, with innocent-looking garden plants being modified to produce narcotics and unlicensed pharmaceuticals.”

Computerworld: Police bees for surveillance, tracking and buzzzsting biohackers?

Policing Genes

See also:

We Make Money Not Art’s interview with Thwaites

Biopunk: the biotechnology black market

1 Comment

  • Laura

    I have a friend who was a security guard for a government facility in New Orleans who said one of the things he was guarding at one point was bees.

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