18 January, 2008
The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week extended an injunction against NASA that temporarily prevents it from requiring certain contractors to submit to a new background-check process as part of a mandatory smart-card credentialing program. The Ninth Circuit noted that the background check process raised serious privacy issues and was far too broad in scope to meet any legitimate government need. It ruled that 28 contractors who had sued NASA in Los Angeles District Court last August over the background checks did not need to submit to those checks for the duration of the court proceedings. NASA had required the checks under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12. HSPD-12 requires federal agencies to issue new tamperproof smart-card identity credentials called Personal Identity Verification cards to all employees and contractors.
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