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EPIC Files Motion About Ignored Body Scanner Ruling 183

Posted by timothy
from the naked-ambition dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a motion in court yesterday regarding the court's ignored year-old ruling on EPIC vs. DHS. EPIC is asking the court to require DHS to start taking public comment within 60 days or, as an alternative, forbid DHS from using body scanners in primary airport screening altogether. If the court orders the latter, that would give EPIC what it originally sought in its lawsuit. Meanwhile, for what it's worth, the related petition on whitehouse.gov has a little more than half the signatures it needs to get an official 'response.' The signing period ends on August 9."
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EPIC Files Motion About Ignored Body Scanner Ruling

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  • Fool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:52PM (#40700625)

    You are a fool if you think the DHS will ever get smaller or less invasive.

    • Re:Fool (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mitreya (579078) <(mitreya) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:15PM (#40701889)

      You are a fool if you think the DHS will ever get smaller or less invasive.

      This may have been phrased abrasively. More informative would have been this little gem [whitehouse.gov], that should tell you all you need to know about petitions
      The "Abolish TSA" petition had successfully gathered a needed number of signatures and, as a reward, the director of TSA had copy-pasted what looks like a brochure that could be entitled "Why TSA is awesome and what are our plans for next 10 years"

      The most galling part (besides the fact that TSA director responded to the abolish-TSA request) is the fact that he didn't feel the need to fake it and say "We are working to address some of your complaints." I am not surprised TSA is ignoring courts, too.
      So, yeah, good luck with that next petition.

      • I don't think a press release in response to an online poll necessarily shows the DHS will never get smaller, I think it merely shows that we can't get rid of it by wishing. The whitehouse petitions are clearly a ploy to get young people interested in the Obama administration. Nothing more. The petitions are at best going to change some of Obama's speeches, nothing more. The fact that TSA responded is merely poor PR, it's not proof that voting (ACTUAL voting) can't get rid of DHS. Of course, most voter
    • by Dishevel (1105119)

      You are a fool if you think that any government agency or program will get smaller or less invasive without an all out battle.

      • by scot4875 (542869)

        I worked at a public university. It damn well got smaller when there were budget cuts, and I don't recall there being much of a battle besides the Republican legislature saying "we don't want to pay for this anymore".

        --Jeremy

        • by Dishevel (1105119)

          Classes went away I am sure. As well as services.
          I am also sure that due to the abomination that is tenure they had to keep some useless people.

    • We can at least help stop them from getting MORE invasive and let them stagnate for a while. Below is a link to another White House petition to stop TSA from fulfilling their oft-touted plan to expand into rail travel "screening." For many, many reasons, not least of which is the fact that attacks against trains can happen anywhere along the tens of thousands of miles of tracks in the US, TSA screening at train stations is a really, really fucking stupid idea.

      "We The People" requires petitions to hit 150

    • by Hatta (162192)

      True, but we don't have to make it easy for them. If we can't win, at least we can shame them at every opportunity.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      My signature is my exact opinion on this situation.
  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:56PM (#40700701)

    So ask my not-so-smart alumni on facebook.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:56PM (#40700709)

      Than molested every day for the rest of my working life? Yes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by DeTech (2589785)

        molested every day for the rest of my life? Yes.

        I know some people who would pay for that.

        • by Firehed (942385)

          Have you had an opt-out pat-down? If you can get off to that, I'd be impressed. They go out of their way to make it slow and embarrassing ("MALE OPT-OUT OVER HERE!") to hope you won't do it again, but even 1% of passengers doing it would probably overload the system.

          Also, you *do* pay for it - there's a TSA fee in your airfare (it may be taked on or built-in)

        • If you're not opposing this in every way possible, you are paying, with your taxes, for a stranger to grope your children.

          Why aren't you demanding this change?
    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:10PM (#40700929)

      Even if there was no security whatsoever on planes beyond a cursory visual inspection of passengers to make sure there weren't any guns or knives on the plane, it would still be safer than travel by car in terms of risk of death per miles travelled. Very few planes fall out of the sky because of bad piloting. A great many cars are as I am typing this right now crashing into other cars, catching fire due to poor maintenance, etc. And let's not forget that all of them are driven by "above average" drivers. -_-

      Death by terrorist ranks lower on my list of ways I could die than "slipping and falling in bathtub". Statistically... My odds of dying in a freak accident at home are far higher than death by terrorist. If only my rubber ducky got as much government funding for it's potential to kill me as counter-terrorism does...

      • Even if there was no security whatsoever on planes beyond a cursory visual inspection of passengers to make sure there weren't any guns or knives on the plane, it would still be safer than travel by car in terms of risk of death per miles travelled. Very few planes fall out of the sky because of bad piloting. A great many cars are as I am typing this right now crashing into other cars, catching fire due to poor maintenance, etc. And let's not forget that all of them are driven by "above average" drivers. -_-

        Death by terrorist ranks lower on my list of ways I could die than "slipping and falling in bathtub". Statistically... My odds of dying in a freak accident at home are far higher than death by terrorist. If only my rubber ducky got as much government funding for it's potential to kill me as counter-terrorism does...

        Scariness:

        Sharks > Terrorism > Car Crash

        Likelyhood:

        Car Crash > Terrorism > Sharks

        • Editor's note: The above comment does not account for fatality statistics involving laser-equipped sharks, land sharks, genetically-engineered supergenius sharks, or robot sharks.

          • A car crash involving terrorist sharks gets classified which way?

            • If the crash occurred near a body of water, it's most likely due to laser-equipped sharks. If it happened a sufficient distance from such a geographical feature, it is categorically due to a land shark attack and will be filed as such. Land shark involvement does not rule out laser assistance in the incident. Also, either scenario has a nonzero probability of involving sharks of above-average intelligence or cybernetic bodily components. Due to administrative inefficiencies, classification has not yet d

      • by Tangential (266113) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:58PM (#40701639) Homepage
        The days of hijacking a plane and flying it into a ground target are over. With the cockpit doors bolted and the passengers wary (and often pissed off) the only real chance a terrorist has is to blow up a plane and hope for some collateral damage on the ground. If they are reasonably determined, they can accomplish that without even being on board the aircraft.

        So not only are you correct, statistically speaking, but it is incredibly hard to justify the dollars spent by the TSA. As a nation we make safety versus convenience and cost tradeoffs every day. This is no different and there's no way a terrorist event on a plane could cost the nation even a fraction of what we spend annually to theoretically prevent them from occurring.
        • by element-o.p. (939033) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:47PM (#40702275) Homepage

          ...and the passengers wary (and often pissed off) the only real chance a terrorist has...

          Dang...I never thought of that. TSA *IS* effective counter-terrorism, just not in the way I ever thought. They get the passengers pissed off before boarding the airplane, the more pissed off the better. Then, if someone *does* try to hijack or blow up an airliner in flight, the rest of the passengers, eager to vent their frustration on someone, ANYONE, rip the terrorist to shreds. Voila! Terrorism problem solved!

          • by jaminJay (1198469)
            It's not the check point that ires me, it's all the selfish gits who wait until they're at the front of the queue before getting their stuff organised. Be prepared, damnit!
        • by cdrguru (88047)

          The problem is it has been proven that airline managed screening is defective - 9/11 happened on their watch. No airline is going to be insured without there being screening that has so far not been proven to be defective.

          Sure, it is hard to justify in a vacuum. Problem is, without insurance the airlines don't fly. The government might be able to take over the liability protection completely, but so far the US government has never done anything like that. I don't think the flying public would be too hap

      • Death by terrorist ranks lower on my list of ways I could die than "slipping and falling in bathtub". Statistically

        The solution is obvious: We need TSA officials in every bathroom in America making sure you pass by a security checkpoint before getting into the bathtub. Sure, they'll be completely ineffective, but what other choice do we have if we want to win the War On Bathtubs?

    • More people in this country have won the lottery than have been killed by terrorists. Do you feel in imminent danger of winning the lottery?
      • by Githaron (2462596)
        Shush! A lot of stupid people spend a huge chunk of their salaries on lottery tickets because they think they are going to win the lottery. We don't need them voting to keep the TSA around.
    • FWIW, your post is slightly ambiguous -- you ask a question in the subject, as if you think the answer should be, "No, of course not!" However, the body of your post suggests that you might really be commenting that the question in the subject isn't really what *you* think; it's what your "not-so-smart alumni on facebook" think.

      I recognize your nick; you and I have often argued the same points (from the same side, just to be clear), so I suspect you are trying to state the latter rat
    • by coats (1068)
      Measure the amount of travelers time that TSA costs in waking lifetimes, and then tell me which is more deadly: the terrorists or the TSA. Run the numbers and you'll see that the TSA is the most deadly terrorist organization on the planet.
    • by chrismcb (983081)
      there are VERY VERY VERY few terrorists in this world. Yes there are some, and most of them don't target airplanes. You are more likely to crash due to maintenance than from a bomber. There really aren't that many.
      I had one TSA agent inform me "the threat is real." What threat?
  • by OldGunner (2576825) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:56PM (#40700705)
    Like any political organization, TSA will only respond to pressure. The more points of pressure, the better. The petition is one point of pressure, the EPIC court petition is another. Letters to individual congress-critters would also help. Just keep up the pressure.
    • by Dog-Cow (21281) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:58PM (#40700745)

      It says a lot about government when a court order isn't enough pressure! Why do we bother following the rule of law again?

      (I know. It's because it's actually the rule of force. Look up rhetorical in the dictionary.)

      • by luther349 (645380)
        if you have money you dont. guess someone forgot to tell you.
      • Did you miss the part where Congress has the Consitutional power to define the jurisdiction of the inferior courts of the federal judiciary and can limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court? When did you think they were ever beholden to court orders when it's the body given sole authority to create the courts and vest them with authority. The only thing Congress can't limit is anying that falls under the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, but that doesn't apply in this case.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:14PM (#40700997) Journal

        I see your court order and raise you one national security handwave...

  • democracy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If everyone in one major airport on one day decided to refuse to submit to these scanners - a simple word-of-mouth campaign with leaflets handed out by people outside the airport would do the trick - a domino effect would mean they'd be eliminated nationwide by the end of the month.

    But that would require people not to want them.

    The problem ain't your reps - it's the people they rep.

    • Didn't that get attempted once, and IIR, TSA shut down the scanners for the day so no one could refuse.
      They then claimed victory because on one complained.
      • Re:democracy (Score:4, Informative)

        by MichaelJ (140077) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:08PM (#40700901)
        Last year, day before Thanksgiving. They called it "Opt-Out Day."
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an
          organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant an

          • So should I add...

            "I don't want you to grope my pickle.
            I just want to ride my motor-cickle.
            I don't want to die.
            I just want to ride my motor-ci,
            cle.
          • by dkleinsc (563838)

            You know, I think it would be kind of awesome to have a chorus of people in line for airport security to break out into a rousing chorus of Alice's Restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. I mean, if you did that, the "WTF?" factor would be high enough that people would take notice.

            I'd participate, but I haven't taken a plane anywhere for several years precisely because I oppose the security measures.

    • Re:democracy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by magarity (164372) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:54PM (#40702349)

      If everyone in one major airport on one day decided to refuse to submit to these scanners - a simple word-of-mouth campaign with leaflets handed out by people outside the airport would do the trick - a domino effect would mean they'd be eliminated nationwide by the end of the month

      Everyone who wasn't near the beginning of the line would miss their flight. Do you think the TSA people doing the frisking care if you miss your flight? The airline would blame you for not showing up early enough to make it through security. About all that would be accomplished would be a lot of inconvenienced travellers. You have to vote for political candidate who promise to do something about TSA, not cute shennanigans.

      • by Githaron (2462596)
        I think the airlines would likely have a whole plethora of lawsuits on their hands if they did that.
        • by magarity (164372)

          And the suit would say, what exactly... "I participated in an exercise to make going through security abnormally long and therefore missed my flight. The airline is clearly responsible for my actions and should refund my money."

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      I am amazed at the number of people who think they are safer. Look at how many slashdotters believe the TSA makes them safer. Safer from what I haven't figured out. And really that is part of the problem.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:59PM (#40700753)

    The petitions on whitehouse.gov have absolutely no value. There's no law compelling the President to respond, although he's stated a response will be made. Several responses to petitions have been little more than filler material -- utterly worthless from a public policy standpoint.

    Does anyone here really believe Obama's going to risk appearing 'soft' on terrorism in an election year? Nothing is going to happen on this issue this year, no matter how many judgements, rulings, petitions, etc., are made -- the status quo very rarely changes during an election year. Every effort will be made to delay this until after November...

    • Actually, if Obama really wants to win this election, he would get a LOT of support across party lines by signing an executive order banning the use of scanners and "enhanced pat-downs" (i think they call them) as a primary screening method until some demonstration of safety and usefulness was satisfied (which it wouldn't be). Conservatives, Libertarians, and Liberals would all sing his praises.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:54PM (#40701575)

        he would get a LOT of support across party lines by signing an executive order banning the use of scanners

        The problem is, that doesn't seem to be true. 4 out of 5 Americans support the use of full body scanners.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20022876-503544.html

        There have been other polls about the same thing with slightly different results, but they all show a significant majority favor their use - such as this one with 2/3 in support: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/22/AR2010112205514.html

        Americans value the illusion very highly, and will trade almost any amount of freedom for it.

        • by BMOC (2478408)

          I actually doubt the validity of those polls, and I think you should consider the source of mainstream media to be completely tainted at this point.

    • by OldSport (2677879)

      Those petitions are *worse* than worthless: they give people the illusion of participatory democracy when in reality nothing tangible will ever come from them, and in doing so distract people from other forms of participation (writing representatives, say) that actually have tangible effects, however marginal.

      As for the scanners, it always amazes me how the political party that is supposed to be all about individual freedom and liberty, personal privacy, and limited government consistently spearheads the e

      • by Githaron (2462596)
        Actually, I think those petitions will probably be beneficial in the long run. As people start waking up, they will realize they are being blatantly ignored. Anger usually leads to passion. Passion usually leads to action.
    • Does anyone here really believe Obama's going to risk appearing 'soft' on terrorism in an election year? Nothing is going to happen on this issue this year, no matter how many judgements, rulings, petitions, etc., are made -- the status quo very rarely changes during an election year. Every effort will be made to delay this until after November...

      Honestly, I figure it would be beneficial for him to come out fully against the TSA. He's a democrat. The people who think that's equal to appearing soft on terrorism are the republicans, who are not going to vote for him anyway. He takes a stand against the TSA and he has most of the liberals, some of the republicans who see through the security theater, and a bunch of the libertarians. It's a win all around.

      Not that I think he's going to do it, but it's not the election stopping him.

      • by Githaron (2462596)
        One good thing does not outweigh the overly massive amount of bad Obama has brought to the table.
      • He takes a stand against the TSA and he has most of the liberals,

        He has them already.

        some of the republicans who see through the security theater

        perhaps a few, for whom it's their top issue. All the rest - "Obamacare".

        and a bunch of the libertarians.

        The ones who aren't more upset about all the wars he's started. OK, perhaps there are a dozen, somewhere in the US.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      The petitions on whitehouse.gov have absolutely no value

      I disagree. They are excellent examples of just how impoverished our democracy is.

    • The petitions on whitehouse.gov have absolutely no value.

      Also, getting people concerned with privacy to sign up to be in the Whitehouse database, to sign a worthless petition...

  • ...the freakin' Italians ... bought them and ditched them, because they were found to be worthless (in terms of security value).

    Cue circus sounds ...

    Show "typical nuclear American" family participating in security theater...

    Exit left with a loud sucking sound ... zoom out slightly to show two chins and a 48oz cola ... and a "man, I feel much better after getting my shoes back on after going through security."

  • by BMOC (2478408) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:35PM (#40702825)

    I haven't seen Obama or any of his administration comment on one of them. From the beginning they seemed to just be punting on most issues outside of health care. There was a huge swell of signers for the anti PIPA/SOPA petition, it easily hit the required number to get a response from Obama, but their reply was effectively a total dismissal of the issue.

    Pure politics, the Democrats are just as afraid as the Republicans of standing up for a true human rights issue when they fear their big money supporters might be upset. Make no mistake, internet freedom is a human rights issue.

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