Body scanners produce detailed, three-dimensional images of individuals. Security experts have described whole body scanners as the equivalent of “a physically invasive strip-search.”
The Transportation Security Administration operates the body scanner devices at airports throughout the United States. On July 2, 2010, EPIC filed a petition for review and motion for an emergency stay, urging the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to suspend the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) full body scanner program. EPIC said that the program is “unlawful, invasive, and ineffective.”
EPIC argued that the federal agency has violated the Administrative Procedures Act, the Privacy Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Fourth Amendment. EPIC cited the invasive nature of the devices, the TSA’s disregard of public opinion, and the impact on religious freedom.
EPIC Urges Congress to Suspend Funding for Body Scanner Program: In a letter to Representatives Mike Rogers and Shelia Jackson-Lee, EPIC has asked Congress to suspend funding for the airport body scanner program until the TSA has completed a court-ordered public rulemaking.
The letter follows a House oversight hearing where members of Congress learned that the TSA had shipped millions of dollars worth of backscatter X-ray devices to warehouses. Earlier the TSA stated that it was moving the devices to smaller airports for efficiency reasons.
Backscatter X-ray devices are currently prohibited in Europe. For more information, see: EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanner Program), EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and Body Scanners (“Backscatter” X-Ray and Millimeter Wave Screening) and EPIC: Body Scanner FAQ. (Nov. 29, 2012)