John Gilmore vs. Ashcroft begins today

Bill sez: "On the 16th of August 2004, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals begins work on the Gilmore vs. Ashcroft case. At stake is nothing less than the right of Americans to travel freely in their own country -- and the exposure of 'secret law' for what it is: an abomination.

"The man who is fighting the good fight is named John Gilmore. John made his fortune as a programmer and entrepreneur in the software industry. Whereas most people in his position would have moved to a tropical island and lived a life of luxury, John chose to use his wealth to protect and defend the US Constitution.

"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."

Another program which depends on showing ID is the Watch List and No-Fly List.  Airlines are issued these lists by the federal government and are required to request ID from their passengers in order to check them against the lists.  This has resulted in countless citizens with names similar to bad people being harrassed, arrested, or prevented from travelling by air—including every person named 'David Nelson'.