August 17, 2004

Gilmore vs. Ashcroft

I think this is important:

On the 4th of July 2002, John Gilmore, American citizen, decided to take a trip from one part of the United States of America to another. He went to Oakland International Airport -- ticket in hand -- and was told he had to produce his ID if he wanted to travel. He asked to see the law demanding he show his 'papers' and was told after a time that the law was secret and no, he wouldn't be allowed to read it.

He hasn't flown in his own country since.

On the 16th of August 2004, John Gilmor filed his case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. At stake is nothing less than the right of Americans to travel anonymously in their own country -- and the exposure of 'secret law' for what it is: an abomination.

UPDATE: Here's an really good subsection from this site.

What does an ID, any ID , do for security?  The honest answer is 'not much'.  If anything, relying on ID for security purposes actually makes things worse.

Showing ID only affects honest people.  If you're dishonest, you can obtain false documents or steal the identity of an honest person.

If a 19 year-old college student can get a fake ID to drink, why couldn't a bad person get one, too?  And no matter how sophisticated the security embedded into the ID, wouldn't a well-financed terrorist be able to falsify that, too?  The answer to both questions is obviously 'yes'.

Posted by jackhodgson at August 17, 2004 09:09 AM