The Electronic Privacy Information Center earlier this week sued Tom Ridge and the Office of Homeland Security for access to documents related to the development of a national identification card program.
The suit arose from a request that EPIC made under the Freedom of Information Act for copies of any material concerning the national ID program and other national security-related initiatives. EPIC made the expedited request on March 20.
By law, the OHS had 10 days to respond to the request, but did not, according to the EPIC suit.
EPIC officials also sent a letter about the suit to senators Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), the Senate majority leader, and Trent Lott (R-Miss.), the Senate minority leader, expressing concern about the OHS actions. They are concerned that the proposed ID program would be an invasion of privacy.
"The potential privacy implications of these proposals are far-reaching," said Marc Rotenberg, director of EPIC, based in Washington, D.C. "Under well-established open record laws, Ridge has an obligation to the American people to ensure that these decisions are made in the open."
EPIC filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
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