The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), filed suit after being refused a FOIA request. A federal court has denied their request but EPIC appealed. The court of appeals declined, issuing a one-sentence decision.
“Upon consideration of appellee's petition for rehearing en banc, the response thereto, and the absence of a request by any member of the court for a vote, it is ORDERED that the petition be denied,” they wrote.
The government had argued that the Department of Homeland Security is authorized to withhold documents from a FOIA if their exposure could "endanger" public safety.
The court determined that the act was a "unified voluntary process for the orderly shut-down and restoration of wireless services during critical emergencies such as the threat of radio-activated improvised explosive devices."
That was when EPIC sued, winning the case in a lower court but DHS appealed.
In asking for an “en banc” rehearing — in which the entire panel of judges are empaneled for a case rather than just three — EPIC argued that the first decision "created a catch-all provision that would allow federal agencies to routinely withhold records subject to disclosure where the agency merely asserts a speculative security risk.”