backtop


Print 94 comment(s) - last by Netjak.. on Aug 6 at 5:20 AM

Court demands to know why TSA is brazenly violating federal laws and its orders

We've covered over the past few years how the U.S. Transportation Safety Agency's "nude" full-body scanners have been used and abused.  The TSA has received sweeping condemnation for the Orwellian scanner program, which many experts say cannot detect dangerous materials as well as metal detectors or traditional search techniques.

A handful of high-profile civil liberties watchdog organizations have targeted the deployment.  Perhaps the most successful was the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) lawsuit against the TSA.  While EPIC fell short of felling the nude scanners on Constitutional grounds, it did score a victory of sorts when the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the TSA violated a federal transparency law.

The court on July 15, 2011 ordered the TSA "to act properly" and rectify its breach of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) of 1946, which requires federal programs to hold public hearings.  The TSA held no such hearings with regards to the court scanners, so three judge appellate panel ordered the agency [PDF] to undergo a 90-day public comment period.

Body scanner images
The TSA has defied a court order to hold a public review its "nude" full-body scanners.
[Image Source: TSA]

So what’s problem?  The TSA never complied with the court order.  As of last month, it told Wired in an interview that the hearing and policy review had been shelved until sometime "next year".  The TSA has stated it really doesn't want to hold the public review at all, as it feels it could harm the government's capability to respond to "ever-evolving threats."

That defiant stance landed the TSA back in court this week.  In a short ruling [PDF] the federal court reiterated its demand for hearings, ordering the TSA to respond by Aug. 30.

Jim Harper, the director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, has an active petition on the new White House petition site rolled out by the Obama administration.  The petition demands the TSA follow the law and hold the public hearings.  The petition has almost 16,500 signatures and only needs about 8,500 more to reach its goal of 25,000.  Under the rules of the petition site, if the additional signature mark is met, President Barack Obama must personally respond.
 
TSA petition
A petition hopes to get President Obama to force the TSA to follow the law.

It's understandable why the TSA wouldn't want to have to answer tough questions from the public on health risks to frequent fliers and why the TSA was storing nude body scanner images, after it had promised not to.

However, even considering the controversy, it's in the relative minority.  Agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have complied with the APA rules, offering public reviews of contentious provisions such as the CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards.

Sources: U.S. District Court for D.C. via Wired, Wired



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By webstorm1 on 8/3/2012 3:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
When the military marches down my street, with the UAVs flying over, I will hop onto the internet really quickly to apologize about how wrong I was. Of course I'm sure by then the Big Government will have already turned off all access to the real internet. But in spirit I'll post something to you specifically.

You can follow your prophet, and the rest of us will listen to what he says and compile it along with the hundreds of other ideas we have to contend with. It must be great to be able to shut off all that other noise and focus on your one true message. But, the rational folks have discussions to have still, so run along.

I am right, anyone who disagrees with me is wrong. That's a great way to win people over to your cause!

It's so hard to find folks that don't like the TSA, I mean this board is full of people who are singing their praises. We are all just sheeple. The majority of this country is very happy with the patriot act, and are more than willing to give up their 2nd amendment. SOPA didn't generate an iota of pushback, and sailed right on through congress. So wow, you must feel really good about the coming military state, you'll be right while the rest of the US is thanking the government for their warm blanket of freedomless security.*tinfoil hat*


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki