A federal district court has granted the Department of Homeland Security’s motion to conclude one of EPIC’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. EPIC was seeking more than 2,000 images generated by airport body scanners held by the TSA. The DHS objected to the disclosure and the court sided with the government. The court relied on a legal theory, “Exemption High (b)(2)” that is currently under review by the Supreme Court in Milner v. Dept. of Navy. As a result of this lawsuit, EPIC obtained many documents concerning the airport screening program, including Procurement Specifications, Operational Requirements, traveler complaints, and vendor contracts with L3 and Rapiscan, that were subsequently made available to the public. EPIC may appeal the district court’s decision as to the release of the body scanner images.
The Blog of Legal Times also covers the ruling, noting:
In his 15-page ruling today, Urbina said the privacy center has provided no basis for the court to question the government’s “reasonable conclusion that disclosure of the images may provide terrorists and others with increased abilities to circumvent detection by TSA and carry threatening contraband onboard an [airplane].”