nettime's_roving_reporter on Wed, 8 Sep 2004 11:47:45 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> USG argues for secret judicial review of secret law

     [ via <>. from the man famous for having
      claimed, though he denies it, that 'the internet interprets
      censorship as damage and routes around it.']

< >

Government wants ID arguments secret

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Justice has asked
an appellate court to keep its arguments secret for a case in which
privacy advocate John Gilmore is challenging federal requirements to show
identification before boarding an airplane.

A federal statute and other regulations "prohibit the disclosure of
sensitive security information, and that is precisely what is alleged to
be at issue here," the government said in court papers filed Friday with
the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Disclosing the restricted
information "would be detrimental to the security of transportation," the
government wrote.

Attorneys for Gilmore, a 49-year-old San Francisco resident who co-founded
the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group, said they
don't buy the government's argument and that its latest request raises
only more questions.

"We're dealing with the government's review of a secret law that now they
want a secret judicial review for," one of Gilmore's attorneys, James
Harrison, said in a phone interview Sunday. "This administration's use of
a secret law is more dangerous to the security of the nation than any
external threat."

Gilmore first sued the government and several airlines in July 2002 after
airline agents refused to let him board planes in San Francisco and
Oakland without first showing an ID or submitting to a more intense
search. He claimed in his lawsuit the ID requirement was vague and
ineffective and violated his constitutional protections against illegal
searches and seizures.

A U.S. District Court judge earlier this year dismissed his claims against
the airlines, but said his challenge to the government belonged in a
federal appellate court.

Now in his appellate case, Gilmore maintains the federal government has
yet to disclose the regulations behind the ID requirement to which he was

"How are people supposed to follow laws if they don't know what they are?"
Harrison said.

The government contends its court arguments should be sealed from public
view and heard before a judge outside the presence of Gilmore and his
attorneys. The government, however, said it would plan to file another
redacted public version of its arguments.

A date for a hearing on the matter has not yet been set.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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