THE BLOG

EPIC Continues TSA Pressure

09/11/2011 08:25 pm ET | Updated Nov 11, 2011

Our friends and allies at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have upped the ante in their ongoing legal battle with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). I was in the EPIC office last January with three FlyersRights volunteers when the organization filed suit against the TSA, challenging the constitutionality of TSA's full body scanners. Last week, EPIC moved the effort forward.

FlyersRights has consistently voiced our message -- we demand security measures that are effective, safe, constitutional, and consistently applied. We have hammered home the fact that the machines are useless against liquids and powders, both at the January EPIC conference on TSA security and in conference calls on the issue.

EPIC agrees. In their August 31 press release, they announced their issues with a recent federal appeals court decision that some elements of the lawsuit, but denied others. EPIC objected to the appeals court's assertion that the machines are effective, along with other reasons supporting a rehearing on the matter. Chief among those objections is EPIC's challenge of the court's finding that the devices detect "liquid and powders." They know that's simply not true, as we've been saying all along.

Remember, the GAO looked at the effectiveness issue last year, and said "It remains unclear whether the AIT would have detected the weapon used in the December 2009 incident." That was the famous "Underwear Bomber" incident, and the GAO cannot state that the scanners would have detected the powders in the bomber's underwear.

Stay tuned as we continue to work with EPIC on this vital air travel issue.