EPIC v. DOJ (USMS)
- EPIC FOIA - Feds Save Thousands of Body Scan Images: In an open government lawsuit against the United States Marshals Service, EPIC has obtained more than one hundred images of undressed individuals entering federal courthouses. The images, which are routinely captured by the federal agency, prove that body scanning devices store and record images of individuals stripped naked. The 100 images are a small sample of more than 35,000 at issue in the EPIC lawsuit. EPIC has pursued a similar FOIA lawsuit against the Dept. of Homeland Security but the DHS refuses to release the images it has obtained. EPIC has also filed suit to stop the deployment of the machines in US airports. For more information, see EPIC Body Scanners, EPIC - EPIC v. DOJ (Marshall Service FOIA), and EPIC Press Release. (Aug. 4, 2010)
EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the United States Marshals Service, a component of the Department of Justice, to obtain information about the agency's use of full body scanners for courthouse security. EPIC pursued the case in federal court, and has obtained acknowledgment by the agency that a single machine has stored "approximately 35,314 images" of the full body scans of courthouse visitors over a six month period. EPIC also obtained a representative sample of the images stored by the devices.
EPIC is also pursuing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, concerning the use of body scanners in US airports. This lawsuit has produced the technical specifications and vendor documents for the devices. However, the DHS is currently withholding from EPIC more than 2,000 images of individuals who have been subject to the airport body scanners.
Based on these suits and other related developments, EPIC has filed a separate suit against DHS, urging a federal court to suspend the airport body scanner program.
EPIC v. Department of Justice, Case No. 10-1157 (D.D.C. filed Dec. 17, 2010).
- EPIC's Complaint, filed Dec. 17, 2009 (pdf)
- Disclosure Letter from USMS, acknowledging existence of 35,314 images, Aug. 2, 2010
- Representative images, part 1
- Representative images, part 2
- Representative images, part 3
- Representative images, part 4
- DOJ's Answer (pdf)
- Stipulation Of Dismissal (pdf)
- Declan McCullagh, Feds admit storing checkpoint body scan images, CNet News, August 4, 2010.
- Bianca Bosker, Body Scan Images From Security Checkpoints Were Saved By Feds, Huffington Post, August 4, 2010.
- Mike M. Ahlers, Agency stored body images from Florida courthouse , CNN, August 4, 2010.
Share this page:
EPIC relies on support from individual donors to pursue our work.
Subscribe to the EPIC Alert
The EPIC Alert is a biweekly newsletter highlighting emerging privacy issues.
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle