One year ago this week, a Federal Court of Appeals ruled that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) clearly violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) by installing virtual strip search machines in airports without any transparency or public input. Those machines, known as advanced imaging technology (AIT), are what passengers cross through at airport security, allowing TSA agents to review full body scans of individual passenger.
The APA sets guidelines for all federal regulations, requiring decisions by agencies to go through a public comment and rulemaking process before they can be instituted. That process was never undertaken for AIT machines, which have been in use at airports since August 2010.
Today, Digital Liberty joined a amici curiae in support of a petition for writ of mandamus, brought the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which would force the TSA to begin the rulemaking period within 60 days. Nevermind that it's already been over 365 days since the court ruled that TSA was violating the law. Other signers of the amici curiae included the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights.
For a White House claiming to be the "most transparent" in history, the least the Obama Administration can do is follow the law and force the TSA to accept public comments on a highly invasive and controversial regulatory undertaking. Especially one that impacts 1.8 million traveling Americans every day.
Sign this petition urging the White House and TSA to act. And check out our amici curiae urging the same.