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Gilmore v. Ashcroft

John Gilmore, a wealthy computer programmer who was one of the first employees of Sun Microsystems, is waging a court battle against the federal government’s requirement that airport security officials ask passengers for photo ID in order to board a plane. Gilmore filed suit today in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Here are the origins of Gilmore’s suit, as found on his website:

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. At the airport, he 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.

Interestingly, another program that requires the showing of ID is the Watch List and No-Fly List. Airlines must check IDs of passengers to names on the lists, which has resulted in many cases of mistaken identities. This is the case for hundreds of fliers named David Nelson.

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