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The Courts Government Privacy News

John Gilmore's Search for the Mandatory ID Law 1568

powerline22 writes "John Gilmore, the millionare who cofounded the EFF, has been prohibited from travelling because he refused to show an ID while boarding an airplane. He's been under this self-imposed ban since 2002. From the article: "The gate agent asked for his ID. Gilmore asked her why. It is the law, she said. Gilmore asked to see the law. Nobody could produce a copy. To date, nobody has. The regulation that mandates ID at airports is 'Sensitive Security Information.' The law, as it turns out, is unavailable for inspection. What started out as a weekend trip to Washington became a crawl through the courts in search of an answer to Gilmore's question: Why?"
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John Gilmore's Search for the Mandatory ID Law

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  • by xmas2003 ( 739875 ) * on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:24PM (#11798415) Homepage
    John's Home Page. [toad.com]

    This writeup on Gilmore v. Ashcroft [papersplease.org] is kinda interesting too as is FreeToTravel.Org [freetotravel.org] that includes an FAQ from John [freetotravel.org] - all of this has been around for a while, but I guess the mainstream media just "re-discovered" John's story - don't think there has been any significant change in over a year (?)

  • No progress lately? (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:29PM (#11798467) Homepage Journal
    Unfortunately the legal page [papersplease.org] hasn't been updated since November 2004. So what's happenin' John? Has things stalled? Has there been any more progress? If so, can you update the legal page? We are listening, and we do care. Our attention spans are longer than the average person. Why the silence?
  • by xarius76 ( 826419 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:32PM (#11798505)
    Airlines are private corporations yes. However the majority of the people asking for your ID's work for the TSA, which is a government agency included under the umbrella of homeland security.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:34PM (#11798516)
    " don't think there has been any significant change in over a year "

    His case is coming up for oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. His attorneys have begun to tour law schools, holding moot courts to practice. They begam this here at the UO Law school.
  • by f1shlips ( 450124 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:35PM (#11798534)
    Sure they can ask for your SS#. The only regulations (at this moment) regarding SS numbers are aimed at regulating what the government can do with them.

  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:47PM (#11798639)
    This very page [papersplease.org] says that he would have been allowed to travel at SFO without ID if he submitted to a search. That alone devastates the "secret ID law" claim, as allowing him to fly without ID, search or not, would have been in violation of that law. More here [slashdot.org].
  • by zackrentwood ( 828124 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:52PM (#11798687)
    I don't think that this is dispositive. From the government's pleadings there clearly is a secret law. Many briefs went back and forth arguing that the government should/should not have to reveal the text of the administrative order.

    It seems that the text of the secret rule might allow the TSA to forego the ID requirement in exchange for more strict physical searches.
  • by DeepHurtn! ( 773713 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:52PM (#11798690)
    This case brings up other and more frightening comparisons to the old USSR and other totalitarian governments. The USSR, for example, had a constitution that supposedly guaranteed many of the same rights the US constitution grants; in practice, however, these rights were non-existent due to various secret "exceptions". If your government is enforcing laws that the public doesn't have access to, democracy is impossible. It is essential that the people have the right to inspect and critique the laws they are subject to.
  • Xenix (Score:2, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples.gmail@com> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:53PM (#11798698) Homepage Journal

    At one time, Microsoft did sell a UNIX port called Xenix. It eventually became SCO OpenServer.

  • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) * <error@nOsPAM.ioerror.us> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:58PM (#11798740) Homepage Journal
    They reached a strange agreement for an argument about personal privacy: In lieu of showing ID, Gilmore would consent to an extra-close search, putting up with a pat-down in order to keep his personal identity to himself. He was wanded, patted down and sent along.

    As Gilmore headed up the boarding ramp a security guard yanked him from line. According to court papers, a security agent named Reggie Wauls informed Gilmore he would not be flying that day.

    "He said, 'I didn't let you fly because you said you had an ID and wouldn't show it,' " Gilmore said. "I asked, 'Does that mean if I'd left it at home I'd be on the plane?' He said, 'I didn't say that.' "
  • by agurkan ( 523320 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:01PM (#11798761) Homepage
    You are misquoting, that page says:

    There he was informed that if he was not willing to show ID he could fly, but only if he submitted to a far more intrusive search than what every passenger goes through at the security checkpoint. (emphasis mine)

  • by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:01PM (#11798767) Homepage Journal
    I just flew to Chicago a couple of weeks ago, and while the TSA person wanted to see my license, the airline attendant at the gate wanted only to see my boarding pass. Getting past the federally-run security checkpoint required ID. Getting on the plane itself did not.
  • by tsvk ( 624784 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:02PM (#11798776)
    Older [slashdot.org] Slashdot [slashdot.org] stories [slashdot.org]
  • by Fjandr ( 66656 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:04PM (#11798794) Homepage Journal
    Sometimes they don't even accept their own listed ID requirements, as happened in my attempt to get an Idaho license. Check out my journal if you want the entire story on what can happen in my state.
  • by Repton ( 60818 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:07PM (#11798819) Homepage
    From TFA:

    They reached a strange agreement for an argument about personal privacy: In lieu of showing ID, Gilmore would consent to an extra-close search, putting up with a pat-down in order to keep his personal identity to himself. He was wanded, patted down and sent along.

    As Gilmore headed up the boarding ramp a security guard yanked him from line. According to court papers, a security agent named Reggie Wauls informed Gilmore he would not be flying that day.

    "He said, 'I didn't let you fly because you said you had an ID and wouldn't show it,' " Gilmore said. "I asked, 'Does that mean if I'd left it at home I'd be on the plane?' He said, 'I didn't say that.' "

    This says that he _did_ consent to being searched ... and was then later pulled out, after passing through security.

  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:08PM (#11798825)
    Wrong. The story says: [papersplease.org]

    John then went to San Francisco International Airport and attempted to fly to Washington, DC on United Airlines.There he was informed that if he was not willing to show ID he could fly, but only if he submitted to a far more intrusive search than what every passenger goes through at the security checkpoint.

    He politely declined the search and again was not allowed to fly.
  • by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:12PM (#11798862)
    (I am not a lwayer, and this is not legal advice for any person who thinks they face what may or may not be a similar situation)

    One of the basic issues driving the airport case is the question of when ignorance of the law IS an excuse. The typical educated layman's answer is never - "Ignorance of the law is no excuse.". While that's generally good advice, real case law is slightly different. It sometimes involves a concept called scientier. The U.S. Supreme Court has defined "scientier" in one set of cases as: "a mental state embracing intent to deceive, manipulate, or defraud.". In various legal situations, it's definition is broader, but is generally about the intent of the accused.
    Several scientier related cases have established that ignorance of a law can become an excuse - IF the ignorance is not the sole fault of the accused. One example of this would be a case where the state itself has put impediments in the way of learning what the law is, and another would be a case where there were substantial natural impediments.
    There have been successful challenges at the highest levels (The Supremes basically), in cases where the impediment was natural: One classic case in the area is that of a bookstore (general , rather than "adult") owner, who was found not guilty of violating obscenity law on this principle. He displayed for sale copies of a Grove Press work that had made the state's banned list. However, the copies he recieved from his normal distributer had rather innocuous cover art and a title that was not particularly indicative of the type of work. The court ruled that his defense was sound - the law did not compel a normal person to go to the rediculous length of personally reading every book in a shipment of tens of thousands of copies, or paying thousands of dollars each year for the necessary (at that time) postage and labor to constantly check a lengthy inventory against a state list not made widely available, just to comply.
    There are fewer good precidents for cases where the action of the state is involved, and fewer still that have made it to superior courts or the U.S. Supreme court. This looks to be a possible one.
    Right now, there is a claim in Texas that holds some of the state laws on sexual conduct are invalid. It's based on the fact that an agency of the state government struck out specific references to those laws in the state's high school text books. The theory is that once one arm of the state acts to make it harder for a person to become educated about the law, the whole state government loses the normal claim that ignorance is no excuse.
    This case hinges on the same claim. If it's really that hard to get to see an actual copy of the law involved, how can an individual who intends to comply with the law actually do it? A decision here will impact not just cases like the one in Texas, but may impact a lot of IRS/Tax law, as one of the claims frequently advanced there is that the law is literally too complicated to be understood.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:30PM (#11798984)
    IAALS, and you can pretty much ignore this entire post above me. scienter doesn't apply if there's no way to learn the law.

    totally separate issue from what's being discussed here.

    and the "claim in texas" that this guy is talking about is (most likely) lawrence v. texas, which was decided about 8 months ago, and had nothing to do with secret laws.

    back to studying.
  • by Metex ( 302736 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:51PM (#11799146) Homepage
    I have traveled many times out of SFO without State/National ID however you still need a document attached to your ID to fly.

    The way it works is that in order to fly without your ID you need to flash them a credit card you bought the ticket with and submit to a search. You are SOL if you dont have your CC that you bought the ticket with. Also you have to notify the ticket agent that you have no ID and they usually print another ticket that flags you to be searched.

    While you dont need your ID they need a document that is attached to you period.
  • by Russ Nelson ( 33911 ) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @10:53PM (#11799157) Homepage
    Gilmore's whole assertion rests on the claim that there is, in fact, a secret law requiring a person to show ID to fly.

    Uhhhh, you should take your lead helmet off. The government acknowledges that there is a secret law requiring a person to show ID to fly.
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Sunday February 27, 2005 @11:04PM (#11799239)
    You're talking about two different things. This was Southwest Airlines at Oakland International Airport. United at San Francisco International Airport would let him fly with no ID. He just chose not to.

    See: http://www.papersplease.org/gilmore/facts.html [papersplease.org]
  • Re:Dude! wtf? (Score:3, Informative)

    by kd5ujz ( 640580 ) <<william> <at> <ram-gear.com>> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @11:07PM (#11799270)
    If he writes you a citation, it MUST have the "broken law" on it, if not, the judge will throw it out.

    An officer can pull you over for just about anything, I have been pulled over for low tire pressure( they will check it, and also check tire tread) they can be pricks if they want.
  • by Sancho ( 17056 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @11:08PM (#11799273) Homepage
    You missed what someone posted here:

    http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=140827&c id =11798819

    He consented to the search and was still denied access. It's unclear whether this was in the first or second attempt to fly sans ID.
  • Hey, I've done this (Score:3, Informative)

    by mekkab ( 133181 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @11:08PM (#11799281) Homepage Journal
    And by I, I mean my wife.

    We flew from BWI to SFO, and back and she had NO ID at all. not even a library card.

    They just searched her. And at BWI, we were so late for the plane, they didn't even search her.

    The TSA people were pretty nice about it, too.
    The difference between Us and John Gilmore? We're not millionaires who think bureaucracy should be spat upon at every step. Sure it sucks, but this is a persons job- show 'em some respect and they chill out (*'cept for the real jerks).

    Speaking of which, you should see us get past TSA security with TWEEZERMAN tweezers- they come to two sharp points; every x-ray flags 'em. And everybody goes to their boss to double check 'em.
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Sunday February 27, 2005 @11:12PM (#11799322)
    No. That was the first attempt. And since that was the time he was denied altogether (Southwest at Oakland), it's not surprising that he is using that in his court case.

    But United at SFO *would* allow him to fly with no ID if he, again, submitted to an intensive search. This time, he declined, and was not allowed to fly.

    See http://www.papersplease.org/gilmore/facts.html [papersplease.org] for details.
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @11:28PM (#11799444) Journal
    No problem. They'll want to verify your ID before charging the card though, so show them some other photo ID other than a DL. Most clerks are pretty lazy about verifying that the cardholder is legit, but in my experience, not in the rental car/hotel/travel game.

    I've done this before on a business trip. The guy I was travelling with had his license suspended the day before we flew out, and he was in charge of renting the car that time out. So he paid, I drove. No big deal.

    Just so long as someone gets fucked over if I decide to take the car to Mexico and never come back - they don't care who.
  • But please, even in light of that, remember: he WAS allowed to fly with no ID at SFO, and chose not to.

    No. They let him thru the security check point, but then stopped him from boarding the plane. From way down the article:

    They reached a strange agreement for an argument about personal privacy: In lieu of showing ID, Gilmore would consent to an extra-close search, putting up with a pat-down in order to keep his personal identity to himself. He was wanded, patted down and sent along.

    As Gilmore headed up the boarding ramp a security guard yanked him from line. According to court papers, a security agent named Reggie Wauls informed Gilmore he would not be flying that day.

    "He said, 'I didn't let you fly because you said you had an ID and wouldn't show it,'" Gilmore said. "I asked, 'Does that mean if I'd left it at home I'd be on the plane?' He said, 'I didn't say that.'"

    Also, note that regulations which are needed to enforce laws have the full force of law and need to be just as transparent as the laws themselves if we are to live in a free society. From further down:

    "By removing any reference to persons or passengers, Congress has significantly broadened the scope of SSI authority," wrote Todd B. Tatelman, an attorney for the Congressional Research Office. Tatelman was asked by Congress last year to look at the implications of Gilmore's case.

    Tatelman's report found that the broadened language essentially put a cocoon of secrecy around 16 categories of information, such as security programs, security directives, security measures, security screening information "and a general category consisting of 'other information.'"

    It's this complete lack of transparency that makes it difficult for a US Senator to get on a plane to get to a vote! How can the typical citizen expect to get justice out of a system so opaque and byzantine that even a US Senator has a hard time flying?
  • Re:ObCatch-22 quote (Score:5, Informative)

    by dcam ( 615646 ) <david@uberconcept.TEAcom minus caffeine> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @11:31PM (#11799462) Homepage
    If you enjoy the thought of that and want to read something that contains similar concepts, try reading some Kafka. It is a lot bleaker, a lot darker. I've only read "The Castle" (which is unfinished) and "The Trial", so I can't comment on any of his other work. I'd reccommend "The Trial. Very appropriate for current US society.

    I'd say The Trial is in fact more interesting than Catch 22 in this context. Catch 22 is easier to read though.
  • by spike42 ( 795924 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @11:31PM (#11799465)
    Sixteen year olds can't rent cars.

    You have to be 25 to rent a car in most places.

  • re: decompression (Score:3, Informative)

    by bani ( 467531 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:08AM (#11799726)
    mythbusters already busted this one. decompression simply doesn't happen. don't believe everything you see in the movies.

    re: overpowering air marshals -- israel flies multiple air marshals on each plane. undercover. its quite unlikely terrorists would be able to discover them all and overpower all of them at once (which is the point).

    re: cockpit doors. afaik they are completely bulletproof. (again, which is the point).

    re: egyptian air lines -- the plane ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea because the terrorists were stupid and stubbornly insisted on flying the plane to a destination it couldn't possibly reach.
  • by laing ( 303349 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:35AM (#11799922)
    I traveled from San Jose airport (SJC) last week and was surprised that I was not required to produce ID. The gate agent even specifically said that they no longer require ID at SJC.
  • Re:Why, indeed! (Score:4, Informative)

    by gim_alelen ( 803393 ) <jim@pley.net> on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:36AM (#11799932) Homepage
    Yeah, you ARE aware that, since Fry's is private property, they CAN ask to see your receipt, right? Same at Costco. I asked my father and uncle, both lawyers, to investigate this, and it is PERFECTLY legal for companies to ask you for your receipt and to inspect your bag. Their property, their rules - they are not agents of the state and you are therefore NOT protected from search and seizure. You are neither hard nor protecting your rights when you refuse to show them your receipt.
  • by SlamMan ( 221834 ) <squigit.gmail@com> on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:37AM (#11799934)
    Having rented cars and been under 25, I can say thats not quite accurate. Some companies don't rent to under 25, thats true, but about half do. The just charge and extra $25 a day or so.
  • by Safety Cap ( 253500 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:44AM (#11799993) Homepage Journal
    Yes this is the administration's position, but didn't the Supreme Court knock that down?
    Rehnquist will be dead soon.

    Shortly thereafter, look for SDO'C to step down, and then ShrubCo will have Scalia + Thomas [pfaw.org] + Thing 1 + Thing 2 to pass any agenda he wants, no matter how wacky.

  • Re:Why, indeed! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Siniset ( 615925 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:57AM (#11800080) Homepage Journal
    However, everything on your person, including the bag and reciept are your own personal property, and you are not required to show them to anyone. Just like the store is theirs, the reciept is mine.

  • by snikeris ( 838429 ) <snikeris AT gmail DOT com> on Monday February 28, 2005 @01:10AM (#11800159)
    I worked at Sam's club last summer as a cashier. The door checkers are instructed to look through the cart and match up everything in the cart to something on the receipt.

    This serves three purposes:

    a) to make sure cashiers don't mess up like the grandparent mentioned
    b) to make sure people aren't shoplifting
    c) to provide a visible deterrant for shoplifters

    I was never explicitily told the true purpose of the door checkers, but I'd bet its a little bit of both.

    Now all theory aside, in practice the vast majority of people who would work at the doors would hardly check at all. If they did, a huge line would build up of people waiting to leave. Of course some people were real careful, but most of us simply didn't care. Whenever they put me on the door, I would pretend like I was checking everything, look up and down at the receipt a couple times, and then after 10 seconds or so let them go on. I really only checked for very expensive items.

    Even if no one actually checked if people were stealing, it still provided a deterrant for people who might be thinking about shoplifting. The average shoplifter doesn't know that most things aren't checked, so seeing someone at the door checking things might persuade them into not stealing.

    There was one funny instance where a kid that had just started was working the door, checking receipts, and I was helping this guy who had just bought a huge flat-screen TV. I helped get it from inventory, rang it up at my register, and then helped him put it in his car. On the way out the door, the new kid asked to see the man's receipt, and the man said, "Oh no, I just won this TV" and kept on walking with the TV. He had already paid for it of course, but we had a good laugh as I was helping him get it into his car.
  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @01:13AM (#11800179) Homepage Journal
    I rented a car at the airport in Chicago at 19. They didn't like it, and I paid out the ass, but they rented me one. I rented one in Canada, with a US drivers license, a little over a year later. I flirted with renting one from Detroit Metro about the same time, got down to picking out a car before I decided, "Eh, prolly less of a hassle to just call [buddy#2] to come pick my ass up, and less trouble when I have to return it in a few days.

    My little brother used a company similar to Rent-A-Wreck for a while when he was still 18. They rent older cars, more or less on a weekly/monthly basis.

    They will rent to anyone if pressed. Just press 'em.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 28, 2005 @01:16AM (#11800197)
    Read Again dickwad

    "They reached a strange agreement for an argument about personal privacy: In lieu of showing ID, Gilmore would consent to an extra-close search, putting up with a pat-down in order to keep his personal identity to himself. He was wanded, patted down and sent along.

    As Gilmore headed up the boarding ramp a security guard yanked him from line. According to court papers, a security agent named Reggie Wauls informed Gilmore he would not be flying that day.

    "He said, 'I didn't let you fly because you said you had an ID and wouldn't show it,' " Gilmore said. "I asked, 'Does that mean if I'd left it at home I'd be on the plane?' He said, 'I didn't say that.' ""

    Read the last bit
  • Re:Why, indeed! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 28, 2005 @01:57AM (#11800371)
    Has anyone who skips the check ever had occasion to return anything? Can you return an item without a valid, annotated receipt?

    I let them check about half the time, probably less than that actually. Just the other day I returned something with an unmarked receipt (to a different Fry's even...). No problems whatsoever. Not even a single comment. I had some other stuff to pick up at the same time and let them mark my reciept on the way out. Seriously, it doesn't matter at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 28, 2005 @02:10AM (#11800432)
    The Bush-Cheney White House. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    That may be true. However, I can't think of any administration in the past 100 years that wasn't an equally "wretched hive of scum and villainy". Anyone who thinks there is ultimately any difference at all between the GOP and the Dems has been fooled. The focus of both parties is to remove rights from ordinary citizens.

    What we need is for everyone to be aware of Jury Nullification [greenmac.com]. The job of a jury is not limited to determining the facts. The real job is to ensure justice is done. This is especially needed to combat the War on Drugs. All we need is one person on each jury who will refuse to convict for drug offences and "Prohibition II" would be over. The same tactic can be used to fight other thefts of rights from the States and the People.

  • by Anonymous Custard ( 587661 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @02:25AM (#11800504) Homepage Journal
    *cough*...speeding tickets ... *cough*cough*
  • Re:I don't get it... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kwil ( 53679 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @02:46AM (#11800601)
    Except it's not quite a law, but neither is it the airline's terms of use.

    He was told it was not the airline's choice, but rather the result of an "Administrative Order" by the Department of Heimat Security.

    Said order is protected by secrecy for some reason. I'd be willing to wager because if flags brown people or arab sounding names for additional checks.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @02:49AM (#11800617)
    That's generally an airport thing, and sometimes a screener thing. In Phoenix they don't do the shoe thing, or didn't last time I traveled. Neither did they in Denver. Nearly all people passed with shoes on. They'd recommend to people who had shoes that had metal to take them off, because if they didn't, it's set of the detector and they'd have to do more screening.

    In some cases it's just the agent being a dick. My dad got this, they told him to take of his shoes and he knew that was unnecessary so he said no. Sure enough, got sent over for more screening. That agent did the scan, which turned up nothing. The agent asked "Why did they send you over here?" My dad told him about the shoes, which earned an eye roll and a muttered "idiots" from the agent who then told him to have a nice day and apologised for the trouble.

    So I'm not so sure it's a secret rule form the government, more a per airport thing that the TSA people may not fully understand.
  • Re:So (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nipok Nek ( 87328 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @06:38AM (#11801198)
    Like in the article, where does the government require you to show ID? Just because the airline wants to see ID doesn't mean the Govt. requires them to ask. The article points out a misinformed employee more than it does a law.

    Please RTFA before making stupid comments like this.


    The regulation under which the Transportation Safety Administration, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, instructs the airlines to collect such identification is classified as "Sensitive Security Information."

    I don't think it can get much clearer than that.

  • Re:So (Score:4, Informative)

    by danheskett ( 178529 ) <danheskett&gmail,com> on Monday February 28, 2005 @08:06AM (#11801386)
    The hijackers were Saudis - we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan.

    That's only part of the story. If you look at Sept. 11 it was conceived in Afghanistan, it was planned in Germany, it was funded in Dubai, it was executed in America and they used Saudis.

    15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, and of those, 10 were persona non-grata in the Kingdom.

    Say whatever you want about whatever else, but you make it sound like the hijackers were working on orders from the Saudi kingdom. They were following orders from an expelled citizen. They were largely already known to be criminals in the kingdom, and had all expatriated.
  • Re:Constitutionality (Score:3, Informative)

    by ray-auch ( 454705 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @08:11AM (#11801395)
    The parliament is full of politicians, not lawyers. They may know what they want a law to do, but aren't the expert on what is or is not in conflict with other laws etc.

    Personally I think it is remarkably honest of a set of politicians to get advice from the experts before passing laws. Most places they just pass the laws and let the courts try and sort out the mess later.

  • Re:Why, indeed! (Score:3, Informative)

    by boodaman ( 791877 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @08:21AM (#11801431)
    Desiring control over my own personal information does not equal delusionary paranoia.

    Gilmore's point is simple (RTFA): Showing ID for domestic travel does NOTHING to increase security, and does EVERYTHING to erode our personal freedom and personal liberty.

    If you're so clever, explain how showing an ID to fly increases security. You might want to check out the recent article in Slate describing exactly how to circumvent the current security checks at an airport. The point? Even with the current rules, anyone can fly without proper ID.

    Showing your ID to fly on a plane gets you NOTHING but a misplaced belief (and the government's "word") that you're safe, and a loss of your right to be anonymous. And you accuse me of not having blood in my brain? Whatever. You might want to think things through yourself, though, before jumping all over me.

  • Re:Why, indeed! (Score:2, Informative)

    by cfpresley ( 832019 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @08:38AM (#11801485)
    You sir, are a nitwit. Almost all Corporations do not serve for the public good, but for the good of their stock holders. They have rights over private property just like you do. Sam's Club, is a Club requiring membership. This is how they subsidize their overhead. Showing your ID does not make you a sheep, it makes you less of an asshole for not backing up a line at a security checkpoint, when plenty of other people have places to go. Fight the system through organized protests, individual protests just inconvenience others.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 28, 2005 @09:12AM (#11801621)
    From: http://library.lp.findlaw.com/articles/file/00105/ 009525/title/Subject/topic/Constitutional%20Law_Tr avel/filename/constitutionallaw_1_355 [findlaw.com]

    Aviation Law Alert: Court Recently HoldsThat Identification and Search Requirements at Airports Are Constitutional

    April 2004

    Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, regulations and statutes have been implemented to ensure the safety of the public, both in the air and on the ground. Many of these newly enacted laws are facing challenges in the court system. One such challenge to the requirement that airline travelers identify themselves and allow themselves to be searched was recently decided in favor of the enforcing organizations.

    On July 4, 2002, the plaintiff, John Gilmore, purchased a commercial airline ticket for travel from Oakland, California, to Baltimore, Maryland, in order to "petition the government for redress of grievances and to associate with others for that purpose." At the airline check-in counter, the plaintiff refused to voluntarily produce a government-issued identification, but was offered the option of consenting to a search at the screening checkpoint, which he did.

    Once at the boarding gate, the plaintiff was again asked and again refused to provide a government-issued identification. This time he was not permitted to board his flight.

    The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against a number of private and federal government entities, including the TSA and the FAA, arguing that the requirements to produce a governmentissued identification and to consent to search as a condition of commercial air travel were unconstitutional. The plaintiff also alluded to arguments that the government was exceeding its authority to examine passenger names and identifying information against "no-fly watch lists" through the Consumer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System ("CAPPS").

    The plaintiff brought the following constitutional causes of action in his lawsuit styled John Gilmore v. John Ashcroft, et al., No. C02-No. C02-3444 SI (N.D. Cal.):

    1. Fifth Amendment: violation of his due process rights as an unconstitutionally vague government policy or directive;

    2. Fourth Amendment: violation of his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures where he faced the "penalty" of being denied permission to fly if he refused to comply with either;

    3. Right to Travel: violation of his fundamental right to domestic travel as the requirements were unreasonable government burdens and restrictions on his movement;

    4. Freedom of Association: violation of his First and Fourth Amendment rights to freely associate with others who also sought to travel to Washington, DC, for political purposes;

    5. Right to Petition Government for Redress of Grievances: violation of his fundamental right to petition government by unduly burdening his exercise of travel to where the seat of government is located.

    The named defendants subsequently moved the district court to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. On March 23, 2004, the district court issued an order dismissing all of the plaintiff's claims, finding that the identification and search requirements

    1. were not necessarily vague as they were permissible means of providing screening of all passenger and property aboard a passenger aircraft (49 U.S.C. section 44901) and the airline was within its right to deny transport to passengers who refused consent to search (49 U.S.C. section 44902)--since the plaintiff's claim squarely attacked the orders or regulations issued by the TSA and/or the FAA with respect to airport security, the district court was without jurisdiction to hear the challenge and, without the unpublished regulations or statutes before it, th
  • Re:Why, indeed! (Score:3, Informative)

    by mccabem ( 44513 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @09:15AM (#11801628)
    They are corporations which hold a license to exist granted by US through our representatives. A. License. To. Exist. Not a right. They have no rights.
    Unfortunately, incorrect.

    Thanks to activist judges [ratical.org] (to put it in the most ironic modern vernacular) corporations got rights in 1886. (For reference, women didn't get the right to vote in the US until 1920 [wikipedia.org].)

    Please find more information on the topic:
    click here [google.com]
  • by leonardluen ( 211265 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @10:04AM (#11801904)
    i don't know about the grandparents proof that kerry wrote a significant part of the patriot act, but he certainly voted for it, which is just as bad, because it means he helped shove it down our throats. he showed his support for the law by voting for it, so it really doesn't matter if he wrote any part of it.

    there was only one person that voted against it in the senate. and i am proud to say feingold is my states representative in that corrupt arena.
  • by krunk7 ( 748055 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @10:28AM (#11802069)
    Actually, that is the party line and you did well conveying it. I worked for quite a while on initiatives to get out public information on The Healthy Forests Initiative.

    The few main issues are:

    1. It allows for large to be clear cut under the "Goods for Services" provision
    2. Allows salvage logging which is based upon a subjective assessment of the trees vitality. Often times scorched trees which are in no danger of dying are labeled for salvage.
    3. Targets many areas which are not historically pose a fire threat to people (though are highly prized among logges for their potential)
    4. Allows for the building of roads into virgin forests (how else to get the logs out?). Our virgin forests are one of the few untouched areas that serve as filters for our drinking water and air....if you've ever seen what a logging road looks like after a company is done, you'd know they'd hardly be suitable for this function after they were done
    5. Now here's the big one and the one that makes it not so far off topic after all: It exempts companys from environmental and public review and limits public commentary on the law . In effect taking the people out of the process of managing their public lands.

    So to bring it back around to the issue of secret laws and double speak, the Healthy Forest Initiative is yet another example of this administrations consistent attack on the publics ability to hold their government accountable.

  • Re:So (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 28, 2005 @10:34AM (#11802115)
    Have you *seen* how long the process takes to get visas - even legitimate ones - renewed in this country (especially post-9/11)?? Let me tell you, in a lot of cases you have to file to start your renewal as soon as you get your first one!

    I know several people who have had to be careful because their U.S. visas had expired. The problem was the backlog in the visa renewal process, not anything these people were doing (or planning) to do illegally.

    If anything, using visa expiration as an indicator of possible "terrorist" activity is even more useless than it was before!
  • Re:So (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 28, 2005 @11:31AM (#11802615)
    Ah yes, damning evidence about the cell phone calls. It's astonishingly sloppy research, fella. Many planes have their own cell repeaters in the damn plane. And boy do they cost you to use.

    Al Queda does not have a green fucking banner or any other "banner" color. That's Hamas. But hey, all them ragheads are the same, right?

    Hey, keep working on that moon landing thing.
  • by alphakappa ( 687189 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @11:37AM (#11802665) Homepage
    Grandparent is talking about Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld, not Jim Kramer
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 28, 2005 @11:53AM (#11802820)

    I logged out to post this, because I am an Anonymous Coward.

    The Federal Aviation Administration does have a policy against traveling without ID. But it is not a secret law. It is not even a federal law. It is just a policy based on a memo by someone at the FAA. The 3 branches of government do not feel the need to correct the FAA, because so few people complain. CFRs are trumped-up administrative rules. Only USCs are laws, and there are no USCs requiring passengers to have photo IDs for domestic flights.

    I know a little about governments and IDs.

    The FAA policy reminds me of Florida Fish And Wildlife posting (everywhere) that it is illegal to carry a concealed gun in state parks. But the state attorney states that Fish And Wildlife has no statutory authority over guns and anyone with a conceal carry permit may carry in state parks.

    I've had a similar problem with Walmart sporting goods managers telling me that it is against county law to sell ammo after 9 PM. It is not. It is just their store policy, but they want to use the excuse that it is a law.

    The problem is not with the Federal government. The problem is with the general public. We need to have more people like John Gilmore. At a basic level, we're imposing this dictatorship on ourselves.

    Perhaps we should start a petition to have the movie 1984 played on a TV network. Might wake up the sleeping public. Another step would be to have the Constitution and, at least, the first 10 Amendments printed on the back of our paper currency, not mystic, cryptic Masonic symbols.

    But the US is hardly becoming a dictatorship. I consider this graphic as evidence of the health of our freedoms.
    Got to love a government that trusts you to take a gun into a bank.
    http://www.packing.org/state/index.jsp/all+united+ states [packing.org]

    The reason that I voted for Bush/Republicans in 2004 is because Bush agrees the Second Amendment protects our individual right to own and carry guns.
    http://www.nraila.org/images/Ashcroft.pdf [nraila.org]
    http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/secondamendment2.htm [usdoj.gov]

    I fail to see how an administration that supports the right to own weapons that can overthrow a government is the bogeyman of tyranny. For those that don't think that civilians with their "puny" guns could take down a hypothetical American dictatorship, consider that there are more than 240 million guns owned by 85 million civilians in the US.

    The 2nd Amendment is the most liberal and radical law in history. http://www1.law.ucla.edu/~volokh/radical.htm [ucla.edu]

    To really understand the tone of the 1st and 2nd, one should read the preamble to the 10 amendments. (Usually not taught in government schools, so most have never heard of it) "The conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution."

    The first phrase of the 2nd is a declarative. It was the style of writing legal documents in the late 1700's to include a preamble. The preamble states a purpose, not a limitation on the language in these government charters. The phrase "well regulated" means well-trained and well-equipped, in proper working order. Ex: "a well regulated clock." "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    Interestingly, the Militia Act of 1792 was law until 1903 (updated by 10 USC). The Militia Act of 1792 stated "That each and every free able-bodied white ma

  • by sykt ( 6887 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:32PM (#11803272) Homepage
    They have changed their policy so that AFTER you go through the security checkpoint you don't have to show ID at the gate, you DO have to show ID to get through the checkpoint though.
  • by RgnadKzin ( 594150 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @01:01PM (#11803549)
    Administrative Acts of Congress require implementing regulations in order to have "general effect" or to allow them to "affect substantive rights;" see the Adminstrative Procedure Act and the Federal Register Act.

    The Federal Register Act requires that regulations must be published in their entirety in the Federal Register so that the people can be given notice of the manner in which the laws are to be administered to them. This Act also requires that the complete text of a regulation be published so that there are no "secret" regulations. The airlines will not show to you Federal Aviation Administration Security Directive 108-01-10 (issued Sept. 28, 2001), which they will say authorizes them to limit your substantive right to liberty and to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. This constitutes a secret regulation, which is not allowed by the laws of the United States or by the Constitution.

    If ignorance of the law is no excuse, then how can I be expected to comply with law that is not publicized?

    There is no mandate from CONgress that government issued identification is to be required in order to fly domestically. The regulations were transferred from 14 CFR part 107/108 to 49 CFR parts 1540 &seq on 22 Feb 2002 - 67 FR 8377.

    If you look thru Title 49 United States Code in Chapters 401 thru 501, the only hit on "identification" will be identification numbers of aircraft. If you look thru Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, parts 1540 &seq, you will find no mention of the word "identification" except with relationship to aircraft -- not passengers.

    The requirement for identification is in the contract of carriage with the airline. You buy the ticket, you are bound by the contract. The contract states that they can refuse boarding to those who refuse to show "positive identification." That is why Gilmore's suit will ultimately fail.

    I do not have any state issued identification. I cannot get any without a social security number and I do not have one. only aliens applying for permanent residency are required to make application; see 42 USC 405(c)(2)(B)(i)(I). For all others (citizens) it is contigent upon receiving direct benefits payable in federal funds; see sub paragraph (II). I am in neither catagory.

    I use my Sam's club card. Have never been refused boarding.

    The "secret" security directive says that the AIRLINES, not the Air Gestapo, are to check ID. If the person does not have ID (is unable, rather than unwilling to show ID), then they are to do "positive bag matching," which means my bags do not get on the plane until I do. This suits me fine, as my bags are invariably the first ones off the plane and on the carousel.

    If you do not know what the law says, then you cannot enforce it. If they do not tell you what the law says, then you are not obliged to obey it.
  • by Harodotus ( 680139 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @04:53PM (#11806410) Homepage
    Eight years or so ago, I thought the same thing, and walked past the "check receipt" clerk saying "no thank you I'm in a hurry" (I was).

    Well he grabbed my shirt and wrestled with me until I stopped just outside the door. The Manager inside yelled "Call 911!" and 6 clerks surrounded me shoulder-to-shoulder preventing my further departure (in a well rehearsed move).

    They demanded to inspect my receipt and to search me. I politely said no and it was clear their intent was to argue with me until the police arrived. I asked if I was under Citizen's arrest and they said "No, but I still cant leave the store". I pointed out that I was 5 feet outside the door and they had no good answer. They said there was an anti-shoplifting law that granted them this right to search me. I knew that pushing them aside would constitute assault on my part.

    Not wanting to deal with the police (I don't have the independent wealth or free time necessary to afford a legal defense in this situation) I eventually allowed them to see the receipt and look in my Fry's bag (they had so SURE I was shoplifting). They were incredibly shocked to find out I was not in fact shoplifting, and let me depart.

    I checked with the police the next day and they told me that Fry's can and does do this commonly and that its supported by law somehow and if I wanted to know more, I could contact a lawyer.

    I was forced to sue or let the matter drop. I wish had the funds/time to sue them, for I think, given my understanding of the law, I would have won on several grounds, including false imprisonment and assault.

    Alas with my later day job as a Whitehat security consultant, had I let myself be arrested (even if not charged or later acquitted) I would have not been hired and would have failed several different background checks. So, for me, I guess I made the right choice given the realities of the screwed up world.

    To this day, I wish I could have afforded being a privacy rights crusader, but alas twas not to be.

    As an aside, at the time I worked as national IT manager of a major Silicon valley based corporation and I justified and pushed through a "No Fry's" policy that cost them probably a couple of hundred thousand in lost sales.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling