The National Archives has announced its intent to release dozens of undisclosed emails concerning Justice Kavanaugh's role in controversial White House surveillance programs. The announcement comes in response to EPIC’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, which previously led the agency to discover hundreds of Kavanaugh email exchanges about warrantless wiretapping and passenger profiling. Prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, EPIC warned that Kavanaugh—both as a White House legal advisor and then as a federal appellate judge—showed little regard for the constitutional privacy rights of Americans. The Kavanaugh emails are set to be released to EPIC in March.
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EPIC has filed a reply brief in EPIC v. Commission, urging the Supreme Court to review a decision that wrongly denied EPIC access to a required privacy impact assessment for state voter data. EPIC filed suit against the Presidential Election Commission last year to halt the collection of state voter data pending the completion of the assessment. As a result of EPIC's case, the Commission suspended data collection, discontinued the use of an unsafe computer server, and deleted the state voter data it wrongly acquired. The Commission was terminated in January of this year. EPIC told the Supreme Court that "there is, quite literally, no organization other than the 'Electronic Privacy Information Center' that suffers a greater concrete harm when a federal agency fails to comply with a publication requirement for privacy impact assessments." EPIC's case in the Supreme Court is EPIC v. Commission, No. 18-267.
In an urgent FOIA request, EPICis seeking documents from CBP about the procedures for travelers to opt-out of biometric entry/exit program. EPIC found that CBP frequently changes the program without any formal procedures. One consequence is that it is now more difficult for travelers to opt-out of the screening procedure EPIC wrote that "CBP is modifying rules as it is implementing the program," contrary to federal law. Earlier this week, EPIC urged Congress to suspend the program until privacy safeguards and meaningful opt-out procedures are established. In comments to the DHS Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee, EPIC explained the substantial privacy risks of CBP's use of facial recognition technology.
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