Litigation Docket

FOIA Litigation

EPIC makes frequent use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain information from the government about surveillance and privacy policy. Public disclosure of this information improves government oversight and accountability. It also helps ensure that the public is fully informed about the activities of government. EPIC's recent FOIA cases include:

EPIC v. DOJ Case No. 16-1402

Inspector General Reports

Seeking unpublished reports from the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General


EPIC v. DOT Case No. 16-634

Drone Task Force Meeting

Seeking documents related to a secret Drone Task Force meeting


EPIC v. DOJ Case No. 15-1955

EU-US Umbrella Agreement

Seeking the EU-US Umbrella Agreement, a framework for transatlantic data transfers between the US and the EU. The proposed goal of the Agreement is to provide data protection safeguards for personal information transferred between the EU and the US.


More FOIA cases

EPIC v. USCG Case No. 15-1527

Nationwide Automatic Identification System

Seeking records on the Nationwide Automatic Identification System, a massive maritime data collection program.


EPIC v. DEA Case No. 15-0667

Privacy Impact Assessments

Seeking all privacy impact assessments created by the Drug Enforcement Agency that are not currently available on the agency's website, as well as other privacy related documents created since 2007.


EPIC v. DHS - FAST Program Case No. 1:15-cv-00289-CKK

Fast Attribute Screening Technology (FAST)

Seeking records on a "Minority Report" style initiative that seeks to determine the probability that an individual, who is not suspected of any crime, might commit a future criminal act.


EPIC v. CIA Case No. 14-1645

CIA Congressional Spying

Seeking final reports of the CIA Inspector General regarding the CIA's involvement in the penetration of the Senate Intelligence Committee's computer network


EPIC v. DOD Case No. 14-1555

E-Voting Security Tests

Seeking penetration testing reports relating to the Department of Defense's e-voting program.


EPIC v. FBI Case No. 14-1311

Privacy Impact Assessments

Seeking all privacy impact assessments created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that are not currently available on the agency's website, as well as other privacy related documents created since 2007.


EPIC v. CBP Case No. 14-1217

Analyticial Framework for Intelligence

Seeking records on a datamining program operated by Customs and Border Protection. This program would aggregate large amounts of personal data on individuals, regardless of suspicion or consent.


EPIC v. Army Case No. 14-0776

Surveillance Blimps

Seeking technical records related to giant blimps that were deployed over the Washington, D.C. metro area.


EPIC v. DEA Case No. 14-0317

Hemisphere

Seeking information about Hemisphere, a collaboration between the Drug Enforcement Agency and AT&T, and the largest telephone record monitoring program reported to date.


EPIC v. DOJ Case No. 13-1961

Pen Register Oversight Reports

Seeking the reports that detail the NSA's collection of call record information from US companies, which the Justice Department has routinely prepared for Congress but never made available to the public.


EPIC v. DOJ Case No. 13-1848

Office of Legal Counsel PRISM Memos

Seeking the legal analyses from the Office of Legal Counsel concerning the NSA PRISM program.


EPIC v. BBG Case No. 13-1362

Tor Funding

Seeking documents related to the Broadcasting Board of Governor's surveillance of internet traffic traveling through The Onion Router (Tor).


EPIC v. FBI Case No. 13-0442

Next Generation Identification

Seeking the FBI's technical specifications, contracts, and privacy impact assessments for the Next Generation Identification initiative, which involves the collection and use of biometrics, including facial recognition technology.


EPIC v. Department of Education Case No. 13-0345

Private Debt Collector Privacy Act Compliance

Seeking records relating to the Department of Education's use of private debt collection.


EPIC v. DHS Case No. 13-0260, 14-5013

Standard Operating Procedure 303

Seeking SOP 303, a secret policy that codifies a shutdown and restoration process for use by commercial and private wireless networks during national crises.


EPIC v. ODNI Case No. 12-1282

Revised Guidelines

Seeking documents related to the collection and integration of detailed personal information of US persons from databases at various levels of government.


EPIC v. FBI Case No. 12-0667

Stingray/Cell Site Simulation

Seeking records related the use of a new tracking technology that records the location of cell phones even when the devices are not in use.


EPIC v. DHS Case No. 11-0945

Defense Contractor Monitoring

Seeking records related to a DHS program involving the monitoring of Internet traffic of certain government contractors that may take place outside the statutory authority for electronic surveillance.


EPIC v. DOJ & FBI Case No. 12-0127

Wikileaks Investigation

Seeking records about the government's investigations of Wikileaks supporters, including records obtained from Internet and financial services companies.


EPIC v. DHS Case No. 11-2261

Social Media Monitoring

Seeking records about the monitoring of news organizations and social media services by the Department of Homeland Security.


EPIC v. DHS Case No. 22-0945

Mobile Body Scanners

Seeking records about the possible expansion of the controversial airport body scanner program.


EPIC v. FTC Case No. 1:11-cv-00881

Google Streetview Investigation

Seeking records on the FTC's investigation into Google Streetview


EPIC v. TSA Case No. 11-0290

Body Scanner Modifications

Seeking records from the Department of Homeland Security regarding tests of airport body scanner radiation emissions and analyses of health risks, and the use of Automated Target Recognition software.


EPIC v. DHS Case No. 09-2084

Body Scanner Radiation Risks

Seeking records from the Department of Homeland Security regarding tests of airport body scanner radiation emissions and analyses of health risks, and the use of Automated Target Recognition software.


EPIC v. NSA Case No. 10-1533, 11-5233

Google Relationship

Seeking records about the NSA's arrangement with Google regarding cybersecurity, following news reports that the agency would assist the company in analyzing network traffic.


EPIC v. NSA Case No. 10-0196

National Security Presidential Directive 54 on Cybersecurity Authority

Seeking NPSD 54, a Presidential Directive that grants the National Security Agency broad authority to conduct surveillance of domestic communications.


EPIC v. DOJ Case No. 09-2394

Body Scanners

Seeking records on the United States Marshals Service's use of full body scanners for courthouse security.


EPIC v. DHS Case No. 09-2084

Body Scanners

Seeking records from the Department of Homeland Security that directly relate to the TSA body scanner program.


EPIC v. VSP Case No. 08-1357

Fusion Centers

Seeking records that directly relate to alleged federal government involvement with a bill which exempts the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center Virginia Fusion Center from Virginia privacy and government transparency laws.


EPIC v. FTC Case No. 08-0448

Conflict of Interest

Seeking records for that directly relate to Chairman Majoras' conflict of interest in the Commission's Google-Doubleclick merger review.


EPIC v. DOJ Case No. 06-0096

Warrantless Wiretapping

Seeking the legal memos justifying the warrantless wiretapping program of the Bush Administration


EPIC Amicus Briefs

EPIC frequently files amicus curiae, or "friend of the court", briefs in federal and state appellate cases concerning emerging privacy and civil liberties issues.

We work closely with technical experts and legal scholars, members of the EPIC Advisory Board, on these briefs. EPIC's amicus briefs assist judges in their analyses of novel privacy issues, often involving new technology. Many of these cases are complex and technical. Judges often acknowledge EPIC's briefs in their opinions, and have expressed gratitude for EPIC's participation in important cases. EPIC's decision to participate as amicus in a particular case typically follows an extensive review of matters pending before federal and state courts. EPIC's recent amicus briefs include:

Veasey v. Abbott 4-41127

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit | Voter ID

Concerning the Legality of the Texas Voter Photo Identification Law


Storm v. Paytime, Inc. No. 15-3690

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit | Consumer Privacy

Concerning Whether Victims of Data Breaches Must Suffer Identity Theft or Financial Fraud In Order to Sue


Liberty v. GCHQ App No. 24960/15

European Court of Human Rights | International Privacy

Concerning Whether Alleged Surveillance Activities by MI5, MI6, and GCHQ Violated Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights


More Amicus Briefs

Apple v. FBI CM 16-10 (SP)

Central District of California | Fourth Amendment

Concerning an Order Requiring Apple to Create Custom Software to Assist the FBI in Hacking a Seized iPhone


Smith v. LexisNexis Screening Solutions 15-2329

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit | Consumer Privacy

Concerning the Standard of Care for Data Brokers Providing Employment Background Checks


Utah v. Strieff 14-1373

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Concerning Whether An Outstanding Arrest Warrant Attenuates the Taint of an Unlawful Detention


ACA International v. FCC 15-1211

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit | Telephone Record Privacy

Concerning the Federal Communication Commission's 2015 Order Interpreting of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act


Commonwealth v. White SJC-11917

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court | Fourth Amendment

Whether schools may turn over to the police a student's cell phone without a warrant


Spokeo, Inc v. Robins U.S. ___

Supreme Court | Standing

Whether courts have jurisdiction to review cases brought by individuals based on violations of their federal privacy rights


United States v. Ganias 2nd Cir ___

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit | Fourth Amendment

Whether the Government violated the Fourth Amendment when they retained non-pertinent files for more than two years after the files were seized in an unrelated investigation


In re Nickelodeon 3rd Cir ____

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit | Video Privacy Protection Act

Whether the Video Privacy Protection Act protects from disclosure personal information collected by the Nick.com website


City of Los Angeles v. Patel 576 U.S. ___ (2015)

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Whether a city ordinance authorizing warrantless and suspicionless searches of hotel guest registries violates the Fourth Amendment


FTC v. Wyndham 3rd Cir. ___

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit | Consumer Privacy

Whether the FTC can enforce data security standards under its Section 5 "unfairness" authority


State v. Davis N.M. ___

New Mexico Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Whether aerial surveillance within the super adjacent space surrounding a dependant's home is a search under the Fourth Amendment and the New Mexico Constitution


Smith v. Obama 9th Cir. ___

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Government Surveillance

Whether the ongoing collection of all telephone call records of all Americans violates the Fourth Amendment


Bass v. Aitkin County 8th Cir. ___

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit | Drivers Privacy Protection Act

Whether the statute of limitations under the DPPA accrues based on when the violation occurs or when it is discovered


In re National Security Letter 9th Cir. ___

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | First Amendment

Whether the nondisclosure provision in the National Security Letter statute violates the First Amendment


Riley v. California 573 U.S. ___ (2014)

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Whether a warrantless search of a cell phone during an arrest violates the Fourth Amendment


Fraley v. Facebook 9th Cir. ___

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Consumer Privacy

Whether Facebook's proposed settlement of privacy claims arising from "Sponsored Stories" advertisements is fair and sufficient for class members


Maryland v. King 569 U. S. ___ (2013)

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Concerning the Constitutionality of Mandatory DNA Collection Pre-Conviction


New York Times v. DOJ 13-422

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit | Freedom of Information Act

Whether FOIA Deliberative Process Privilege Exemption Applies to Final DOJ-OLC Opinions


Jennings v. Broome U.S. Cert., 2012

Supreme Court | Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Concerning the Scope of Protections for Stored E-mail Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act


McBurney v. Young 569 U. S. ___ (2013)

Supreme Court | Freedom of Information Act

Concerning the Constitutionality of State FOI Disclosure Restrictions for Non-Residents


Maracich v. Spears 570 U. S. ___ (2013)

Supreme Court | Drivers Privacy Protection Act

Concerning the Scope of the 'Litigation' Exception to the Drivers' Privacy Protection Act


Clapper v. Amnesty Int'l USA 568 U. S. ___ (2013)

Supreme Court | Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

Concerning the Standing of Public Interest Organizations, Journalists, and Lawyers to Challenge the Constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008


Florida v. Harris 568 U. S. ___ (2013)

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Whether an investigative technique that law enforcement asserts reliably identifies the presence of contraband is sufficient to satisfy the probable cause requirement of the Fourth Amendment and thereby allows routine warrantless searches.


CREW v. FEC 12-5004

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit | Freedom of Information Act

What constitutes an adequate FOIA ?determination? such that a FOIA requester who has not received such a determination from an agency within FOIA?s time limits may file suit


Gordon v. Softech Int'l Inc. 726 F.3d 42

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit | Drivers Privacy Protection Act

Concerning Reseller Liability fo an Alleged But Undisclosed Impermissible Use of Driver Information Under the DPPA


United States v. Hamilton 701 F.3d 404 (4th Cir. 2012)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit | Workplace Privacy

Concerning the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Personal E-Mails Stored on a Work Computer


Ben Joffe v. Google 9th Cir. ___

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Concerning Google's Civil Liability Under The Wiretap Act For Interception of Wi-Fi Payload Data


State v. Earls 70 A.3d 630 (2013)

New Jersey Supreme Court | Location Privacy

Whether the government can constitutionally obtain and use locational information from a defendant's cell phone provider to track a suspect's location without a warrant under the Fourth Amendment


In re US Application for CSLI 724 F.3d 600 (5th Cir. 2013)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit | Location Privacy

Concerning the Constitutionality of the Government's Request for Historical "Cell-Site Location Information" Under Section 2703(d) of the Stored Communications Act


First American v. Edwards 567 U. S. ___ (2012)

Supreme Court | Standing

Concerning Standing and Liquidated Damages for Federal Statutory Rights


FAA v. Cooper 566 U. S. ___ (2012)

Supreme Court | Privacy Act

Concerning Emotional Injury as Harm Under the Privacy Act


United States v. Jones 565 U. S. ___ (2012)

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Concerning Warrantless GPS Installation and Tracking Under the Fourth Amendment


United States v. Pool 09-10303

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Biometric Privacy

Concerning the Constitutionality of Mandatory DNA Collection


Chicago Tribune v. Univ. of Illinois 11-2066

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit | FERPA

Concerning the Privacy of Education Records Under FERPA


Doe v. Luzerne County 660 F.3d 169 (3rd Cir. 2011)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit | Informational Privacy

Concerning the right of public employees to remain free from surreptitious video surveillance while undressed as they shower at their workplace


In re Google Street View 794 F. Supp. 2d 1067

Northern District of CA | Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Concerning Google's Civil Liability Under The Wiretap Act For Interception of Wi-Fi Payload Data


Sorrell v. IMS Health 564 U. S. ___ (2011)

Supreme Court | Medical Record privacy

Concerning the Use of Prescriber-Identifiable Data for Targeted Marketing


Tolentino v. New York 563 U. S. ___ (2011)

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Concerning Suppression of Evidence Accessed After an Illegal Police Search


FCC v. AT&T 562 U. S. ___ (2011)

Supreme Court | Freedom of Information Act

Does FOIA give corporations the same personal privacy rights as natural born people?


NASA v. Nelson 562 U. S. 134 (2011)

Supreme Court | Informational Privacy

Concerning Informational Privacy for Federal Contract Employees


G.D. v. Kenny 15 A. 3d 300, 205 NJ 275

New Jersey Supreme Court | Expungement

Concerning preserving the value of expungement


Doe v. Reed 561 U. S. 186 (2010)

Supreme Court | First Amendment

Concerning the Compelled Disclosure of Petition Signatures


SEC v. Galleon 622 F.3d 159 (2d Cir. 2010)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit | Wiretapping

Whether an individual is required to turn over more than 18,000 wiretapped conversations acquired by the government in a criminal case when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compels the disclosure of such material in a separate but related civil case


City of Ontario v. Quon 560 U. S. 746 (2010)

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Concerning Text Messaging Privacy in the Workplace


Harris v. Blockbuster 622 F.Supp.2d 396

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit | Video Privacy Protection Act

Concerning the Substitution of Privacy Rights by Arbitration


Ostergren v. Cuccinelli 615 F.3d 263, 272 (4th Cir. 2010)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit | Cybersecurity

Concerning the Publication of Social Security Numbers


Google Books Settlement 05 CIV 8136

Southern District of New York | Internet Privacy

Concerning the Google Books Settlement


Commonwealth v. Connolly 454 Mass. 808 (2009)

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court | Fourth Amendment

Concerning GPS Tracking of a Vehicle as a ?Search and Seizure


Flores-Figueroa v. United States 556 U. S. 646 (2009)

Supreme Court | Identity Theft

Concerning Proper Application of the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act


Bunnell v. MPAA 567 F.Supp.2d 1148 (2008)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Whether the Wiretap Act protects e-mail messages in circumstances when the messages are briefly stored while they pass through mail servers.


Herring v. United States 555 U. S. 135 (2009)

Supreme Court | Database errors

Concerning a Faulty Arrest Based on Incorrect Information in a Government Database


NCTA v. FCC 555 F.3d 996 (D.C. Cir. 2009)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit | Consumer Privacy

Concerning Privacy of Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI)


Crawford v. Marion County 553 U. S. 181 (2008)

Supreme Court | Voter ID

Concerning Photo Identification Requirements for Voters


IMS Health v. Ayotte 550 F.3d 42 (2008)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit | Medical Record privacy

Concerning the Use of Prescriber-Identifiable Data for Targeted Marketing


New Jersey v. Reid 194 N.J. 386, 954 A.2d 503 (N.J. 2008)

New Jersey Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Concerning ISP subscriber privacy


Hepting v. AT&T

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Government Surveillance

Concerning NSA Warrantless Domestic Spying Program


In re Marriage of [Redacted]

District Court, Colorado | Telephone Record Privacy

Telephone record privacy


Johnson v. Quander U.S. Cert., 2006

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Concerning DNA collection


Peterson v. NTIA 06-1548

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit | First Amendment

Concerning Privacy for Domain Name Holders


ACLU v. DOD 05-6286

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit | Freedom of Information Act

Concerning Freedom of Information Act Exemption 7(F)


Nelson v. Salem State College 446 Mass. 525

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court | Workplace Privacy

Concerning employee privacy in the state workplace


Kohler v. Englade 470 F. 3d 1104 (5th Cir. 2006)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit | Fourth Amendment

Concerning DNA Dragnets


Gonzales v. Doe 449 F. 3d 415 (2nd Cir. 2006)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit | First Amendment

Concerning National Security Letters


Forensic Advisors, Inc. v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. 907 A.2d 855 (2006)

Maryland Court of Appeals | First Amendment

Concerning Subscriber List Privacy


United States v. Councilman 03-1383

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit | Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Concerning whether email can be "intercepted" in violation of federal wiretap law while it is temporarily stored on an email server


ABA v. Brown 04-16334

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Preemption

Concerning federal preemption of state privacy laws


Kehoe v. Fidelity Bank 421 F.3d 1209 (11th Cir. 2005)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit | Drivers Privacy Protection Act

Concerning the Driver's Privacy Protection Act


Gilmore v. Gonzales 435 F.3d 1125 (9th Cir. 2006)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Secret Law

Concerning Secret Law


United States v. Kincade 379 F.3d 813 (9th Cir. 2004)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Fourth Amendment

Concerning DNA collection


Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Ct. of Nev., Humbolt County 542 U. S. 177 (2004)

Supreme Court | Fourth Amendment

Whether an individual who has not been arrested may refuse to identify himself to a law enforcement officer


Doe v. Chao 540 U. S. 614 (2004)

Supreme Court | Privacy Act

Concerning whether a person should be required to prove actual damages to obtain relief under the Privacy Act


RIAA v. Verizon 351 F.3d 1229 (D.D.C. 2003)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit | Internet Privacy

Concerning Copyright Subpoena Privacy


BATF v. Chicago U.S. Cert., 2003

Supreme Court | Freedom of Information Act

Concerning the Freedom of Information Act


In re Sealed Case 310 F.3d 717 (2002)

FISC | FISA


Smith v. Doe 538 U. S. 84 (2003)

Supreme Court | Informational Privacy

Concerning Megan's Law


United States v. Bach 310 F.3d 1063, 1066 (8th Cir. 2002)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit | Fourth Amendment

Concerning service of a warrant by fax


Remsburg v. Docusearch 149 NH 148 (2003)

New Hampshire Supreme Court | Pretexting


Paramount Pictures v. ReplayTV CV 01-09358 FMC

Central District of California | Consumer Privacy

Concerning Electronic Surveillance of TV Usage


Watchtower Bible v. Stratton 536 U. S. 150 (2002)

Supreme Court | First Amendment

Concerning Anonymity and the First Amendment


US West v. FCC U.S. Cert. 2000

Supreme Court | Right to Privacy

Concerning Telephone Subscriber Privacy


Bernstein v. U.S. Dept of Commerce 97-16686

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | First Amendment

Concerning Crypto Export Controls


Reno v. Condon 528 U. S. 141 (2000)

Supreme Court | Drivers Privacy Protection Act

Concerning whether the Driver Privacy Protection Act, which prohibits the disclosure of personally identifiable information and motor vehicle records by public agencies and private persons, was an unconstitutional breach of federalism principles.


Junger v. Daley 209 F.3d 481 (6th Cir. 2000)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit | First Amendment

Concerning Crypto Export Controls


EPIC Privacy Cases

EPIC also brings other cases to promote individual privacy rights. EPIC's recent privacy cases include:

EPIC v. FAA 15-1075

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit | Drone Privacy

Challenging the FAA's Failure to Establish Drone Privacy Rules


In re EPIC 13-58

U.S. Supreme Court | NSA

Petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to Hald NSA Surveillance of Domestic Telephone Calls


EPIC v. DHS 653 F.3d 1 (DC Cir. 2011)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit | Body Scanners

Challenge to the use of Body Scanners by the TSA


More Privacy Cases

EPIC v. ED 48 F.Supp.3d 1 (D.DC 2014)

U.S. District Court for D.C. | Student Privacy

Challenging the Department of Education's Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 2011 Regulations


EPIC v. FTC 844 F.Supp.2d 98 (D.DC 2012)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit | Google Consent Order

Lawsuit to compel the FTC to enforce a Google consent order and to block Google's proposed consolidation of user data


ACLU et al. v. Murkasey 542 U.S. 656 (2004)

U.S. Supreme Court | COPA

Challenging the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) for Violating the First Amendment Guarantee of Free Speech


Reno v. ACLU et al. 521 U.S. 844 (1997)

U.S. Supreme Court | First Amendment

Challenging the Communications Decency Act (CDA) for Violating the First Amendment Guarantee of Free Speech


Agency Comments

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) governs internal procedures of administrative agencies, including how they interact with the public. Since 1997, EPIC has consistently submitted extensive public comments to federal agencies, pursuant to the APA. EPIC has also submitted administrative comments to state and international administrative agencies. Through these comments, EPIC makes detailed recommendations, grounded in both policy and law, for stronger privacy protection. Below is a list of comments, arranged by agency in reverse chronological order, that EPIC has submitted since 1997. EPIC's recent agency comments include:




More Agency Comments

Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records SAMHSA-4162-20

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Insider Threat Program System of Records DHS-2015-0049 and 0050

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Use of the Terrorist Screening Database System of Records DHS-2016-0002

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Aircraft Registration Records System of Records Notice DOT-OST-2015-0235

Department of Transportation (DOT)



Notice of Arrival and Departure System of Records DHS-2015-0078,79

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

On DHS/U.S. Coast Guard Notice of Arrival and Departure System of Records DHS-2015-0078-0079

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Managing Information as a Strategic Resource A-130

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Operations Records DoD-2015-OS-0100

Department of Defense (DOD)

Freedom of Information Regulations DHS-2009-0036

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Request for Public Comment on Activities Under Executive Order 12333 2015?0001

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)

Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems FAA-2015-0150

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Defining Privacy 2014-05

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)

DoD Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program DoD-2007-OS-0086; 0790-AI24

Department of Defense (DOD)

Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communications NHTSA-2014-0022

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Debt Collection Survey from the Consumer Credit Panel

Consumer Financal Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Regarding the Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse FMCSA-2001-0031/RIN 2126-AB18

Department of Transportation (DOT)

On Big Data and the Future of Privacy

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)

On Big Data and the Future of Privacy

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)

On Public Information, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Regulations 140127076-4076-01/RIN 0605-AA33

Department of Commerce (DOC)

In the Matter of Apperian, Inc. et al. FTC File Nos. 142-3017-3020; 142-3022-3024; 142-3028; 142-3025; 142-3030-3032

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Regarding the DOD Privacy Program DOD-2013-OS-0023/RIN 0790-AJ03

Department of Defense (DOD)


On Freedom of Information, Privacy Act, and Government in the Sunshine Act Procedures PCLOB 2013-0005; Sequence 1/RIN 0311-AA01

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)

On "Passenger Screening Using Advanced Imaging Technology" TSA-2013-0004

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

On Biometric Data Collection at the Ports of Entry DHS-2013-0016

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

On People Locator Proposed Data Collection

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)


On the Proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement USTR-2013-0019)

United States Trade Representative ()

On Unmanned Aircraft System Test Site Program FAA-2013-0061

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

On Developing a Framework to Improve Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Regarding FOIA Fee Schedule Rulemaking Project No. P122102

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

In the Matter of Google, Inc. FTC File No. 121 0120

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

On Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Event Data Recorders (2014 Mandate) NHTSA-2012-0177/RIN 2121-AK86)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)


In the Matter of Compete, Inc. FTC File No. 102 3155

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)


On Rent-to-Own Computer Spying Proposed Settlements FTC File No. File No. 112 3151

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

On the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Rule Review Project No. P104503

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)



In Short: Advertising and Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World FTC Project No. P114506

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)



In the Matter of Myspace, LLC FTC File No. 102 3058

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

On Issues of Privacy and Access With Regard to Human Genome Sequence Data

Pres. Comm for the Study of Bioethical Issues ()

Commenting on Proposed DEA Privacy Act Exemptions CPCLO Order No. 006-2012

Department of Justice (DOJ)


Comments on FAA Unmanned Aircraft System Test Sites FAA-2012-0252

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

On the Multistakeholder Process to Develop Consumer Data Privacy Codes of Conduct 120214135-2135-01/RIN 0660-XA27

Department of Commerce (DOC)


On Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition"" Project Number P115406

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

In the Matter of Facebook, Inc. FTC File No. 092 3184

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Regarding a DHS Privacy Act System of Records "Routine Use" Expansion DHS-2011-0094

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


Regarding a DHS Privacy Act System of Records "Routine Use" Expansion DHS-2011-0082

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)







In the Matter of Google, Inc. FTC File No. 102 3136

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)


Regarding Information Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy 101214614-0614-01/RIN 0660- XA22

Department of Commerce (DOC)


On the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center Records System of Records () (Dec. 15, 2010) DHS Nos. 2010-0086, 2010-0085

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Regarding Proposed Amended FISC Rules

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

Regarding the 2010 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Rule Review FTC Matter No. P104503

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)


Concerning exemption of New Systems of Records from the Privacy Act

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)



On the "Establishment of Global Entry Program" USCBP-2008-0097

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Concerning Smart Grid Cyber Security Strategy and Requirements 0909301329-__91332-__01

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)



Regarding Employment Eligibility Verification FAR Case 2007-013

Department of Defense (DOD)


Regarding the Secure Flight "TSA" passenger prescreening program () (Sept. 24, 2007) TSA-2007-28972, 2007-28572

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)






Addressing DHS's Redress and Response System of Records DHS 2006-0077 and DHS-2007-0003

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


Automated Targeting System Privacy Act System of Records Notice DHS-2006-0060

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

On the Expansion of Closed-Circuit Television Surveillance

D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC)




On the Proceeding to Establish a National Do-Not-Call List Framework 8665-C12-200601626, 8662-C131-200408543, 8662-F20-200409814, 662-B48-200409228, 8662-A84-200410035

Canadian Radio-TV & Telecomm. Comm (CRTC)

Regarding Tax Return Information Sharing E-Filing REG-137243-02

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)


On the Control of Communicable Diseases RIN 0920-AA03

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)




On the State Parent Locator Service

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Regarding the expansion of Registered Traveler Operations Files System of Records TSA-2004-19166 and TSA-2004-17982

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


Concerning the Consumer Ability to "Freeze"Individual Credit Reports

Maryland Attorney General Identity Theft Forum ()


Comments on Privacy and Access to Court Records

Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts ()

Regarding Consumer-Directed Promotion of Regulated Medical Products 2005N-0354

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)


Regarding a Notice to Establish a Terrorist Screening Records System of Records AAG/A Order Nos. 005-2005 and 006-2005

Department of Justice (DOJ)


On Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (preemption of state anti-telemarketing laws) CG 02-278, DA 05-1346,DA 05-1347, DA 04-3185, DA 04-3187, DA 04-3835, DA 04-3836, DA 04-3837, DA 05-

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)




Regarding Biometrics and Airport Access Control Systems TSA-2005-20485

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)




Regarding a Notice of Emergency Clearance Request Secure Flight Test Records TSA-2004-19160

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Concerning Secure Flight Test Records TSA-2004-19160

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Regarding the Email Authentication Summit

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)


On Standardizing the Data Format of Event Data Recorders (EDRs in Passenger Vehicles) NHTSA-2004-18029)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

In the Matter of Event Data Recorders HTSA-2004-18029

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)


In the Matter of FACT Act Biometric Study File No. R411005

Department of Treasury (Treasury)

In the Matter of CAN-SPAM Act Rulemaking (Do Not E-Mail Registry) FTC Project No. R411008

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)


In the Matter of Deployment of Internet Protocol, Version 6 040107006-4006-01

Department of Commerce (DOC)







On the Manifest Requirements Under Section 231 of the Act INS No. 2182-01

Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)

On the Development and Installation of Event Data Recorders (EDRs in Motor Vehicles) NHTSA-2002-13546)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)


In the Matter of Privacy Act Notice Concerning Aviation Security Screening Records DOT/TSA 010 - OST-1996-1437

Department of Transportation (DOT)



In the Matter of Microsoft Consent Order FTC File No. 0123240, M03

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Regarding Telecommunications Carriers’ Use of Consumer Information UT-990146

WA Utilities and Transportation Comm ()




In the Matter of Telemarketing Rulemaking FTC File No. R411001

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Privacy and Public Access to Electronic Case Files

Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSA )


In the Matter of Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act CC 97-213

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)


Consumer Privacy Complaints

EPIC has a particular interest in protecting consumer privacy and has played a leading role in developing the authority of the Federal Trade Commission to address emerging privacy issues and to safeguard the privacy rights of consumers. From its early days, EPIC has worked to ensure that the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and other agencies help protect the privacy of consumer and Internet users. EPIC's recent consumer privacy complaints include:

In re: Uber Privacy Policy

EPIC's complaint charges that Uber's plan to track users and gather contact details is an unlawful and deceptive trade practice.


In re: Samsung 'SmartTVs'

EPIC's complaint concerns the consumer privacy violations of Samsung's "always on" SmartTV.


In re: Facebook (Psychological Study)

EPIC's complaint concerns Facebook's "secretive and non-consensual use of personal information to conduct an ongoing psychological experiment on 700,000 Facebook users, i.e. the company purposefully messed with people's minds."


More Consumer Privacy Complaints

In re: WhatsApp

EPIC's complaint concerns Facebook's proposed purchase of WhatsApp


In re: Scholarships.com

EPIC's complaint concerns the business practices of Scholarships.com


In re: Samsung "JAY-Z Magna Carta" App

EPIC's complaint concerns Samsung's Magna Carta App, which collects massive amounts of personal information from users, including location data and data pulled from other accounts and other apps on the users phones.


In re: Snapchat

EPIC's complaint concerns Snapchat, the publisher of a mobile app that encourages user to share intimate photos and videos. The company represents that users can make photos and videos "disappear forever." In fact, the photos can be retrieved by others after they should have vanished.


In re: Verizon Wireless

EPIC's complaint charges that Verizon Wireless has engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of consumer protection law.


In re Facebook II (Settings)

EPIC's complaint focuses on the unfair and deceptive trade practices of Facebook with respect to sharing of user information with third-party application developers.


In re: Google Buzz

EPIC's complaint focuses on the unfair and deceptive trade practices of Google with respect to Google's transformation of an email service to a social networking service without offering Gmail users meaningful control over their information or opt-in consent.


In re: Facebook

EPIC's complaint focuses on the unfair and deceptive trade practices of Facebook with respect to sharing of user information with third-party application developers.


In re: Echometrix

EPIC's complaint alleges that Echometrix engages in unfair and deceptive trade practices by representing that the software protects children online while simultaneously collecting and disclosing information about children's online activity.


In re: Google (Cloud Computing)

EPIC's complaint urged the FTC to open an investigation into Google's Cloud Computing Services -- including Gmail, Google Docs, and Picasa -- to determine "the adequacy of the privacy and security safeguards."


In re: Awarenesstech.com, RemotePCSpy.com, Covert-Spy.com, RemoteSpy.com, and Spy-guide.net

EPIC's Domestic Violence and Privacy Project filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against several purveyors of stalker spyware.


In re: AskEraser

EPIC's complaint alleges that Ask.com is engaging in unfair and deceptive trade practices concerning AskEraser, a product that purports to protect Internet search privacy.


In re: Google and DoubleClick

EPIC's complaint urged the Commission to open an investigation into the proposed acquisition of DoubleClick by Google, specifically with regard to the ability of Google to record, analyze, track, and profile the activities of Internet users with data that is both personally identifiable and data that is not personally identifiable.


In re: Intelligent e-Commerce

EPIC's complaint concerns the illegal sale of personal information obtained from telephone carriers.


In re: ChoicePoint

EPIC's complaint urged the agency to investigate the compilation and sale of personal dossiers by data brokers such as ChoicePoint.


In re: JetBlue and Acxiom

EPIC's complaint alleges that JetBlue and Acxiom violated federal consumer law when they transferred information on passengers in violation of their own privacy policies.


In re: Experian

EPIC's complaint urged the FTC to investigate the marketing practices of credit reporting agency Experian for broadly disseminating advertising that offers for "free" credit reports, but actually provides an expensive credit monitoring service that individuals must cancel within thirty days.


In re: Amazon.com

EPIC's complaint urged the FTC to investigate Amazon.com for violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).


In re: DoubleClick and Abacus

EPIC's complaint alleges that DoubleClick violated laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive business practices.


Letter from EPIC Exec. Dir. Marc Rotenberg to FTC Comm'r Christine Varney

Letter urged the FTC to investigate the misuse of personal information by the direct marketing industry


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