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Airport ID Checks Constitutional

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the stop-right-there-citizen dept.

Privacy 807

chill wrote to mention the decision handed down from the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of appeals in the case of Gilmore vs. Gonzales. The court found in the government's favour, saying "We hold that neither the identification policy nor its application to Gilmore violated Gilmore's constitutional rights, and therefore we deny the petition ... The Constitution does not guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation."

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807 comments

Darn!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584082)

Darn!! I was hoping if he won, the principle could be applied to purchasing booze!!

FISH! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584092)

I AM A FISH!

Nothing for you to see here. (1, Offtopic)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584095)

"Nothing for you to see here. Move along, if you have identification."

"You don't need to see his identification."

"Nothing for you to see here. Stick around."

No particular, but any? (4, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584103)

Is there currently any form of travel where you don't have to submit to a "Papers Please" check? You have to have a driver's license to drive. We know about airplanes. If busses and trains also require ID, then how can you travel anonymously? I suppose that most taxi drivers won't check your id, but they'll sure want to check your checkbook before driving you cross-country.

If you can't travel anonymously, then you in fact do not have an independent right to petition your government.
-russ

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

Ixitar (153040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584129)

Try walking!

Re:No particular, but any? (3, Insightful)

sigzero (914876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584136)

"If you can't travel anonymously, then you in fact do not have an independent right to petition your government."

There is NOTHING in the constitution that guarantess you can "travel anonymously". It isn't even implied. Your statement has not basis in fact or reality.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584197)

Privacy rights are a part of established constitutional law and principle. See "Roe v. Wade".

Re:No particular, but any? (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584277)

Privacy is not the same thing as anonymity. At the very least the other party of the transaction (the airline) has a right to know who you are. Privacy dictates that they be careful who they share it with. However, since most airlines are subject to government regulation, they are considered a public form of travel. If you want privacy, charter a plane who will keep your trip confidential. (At least until they're supeonaed.)

Re:No particular, but any? (4, Insightful)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584295)

There is NOTHING in the constitution that guarantess you can "travel anonymously". It isn't even implied. Your statement has not basis in fact or reality.

There also is nothing in the Constitution about the right to use the bathroom without the supervision of a Government agent. You don't value that, now do you? Would you be upset if that ability were taken away?

How about the ability to travel more than 15 miles away from your home with applying for special permission in front of a Federal Review Board?

The Constitution isn't just remarkable for the rights it guarantees for citizens, but also that it (supposedly) restricts the rights of the government to what is specifically stated in the Constitution. Ideally, if the Constitution does not say that the government can regulate something, then they cannot regulate that thing.

In other words, your argument "has not basis in fact or reality"

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

tdemark (512406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584332)

There also is nothing in the Constitution about the right to use the bathroom without the supervision of a Government agent. You don't value that, now do you? Would you be upset if that ability were taken away?

Except for the Fourth Amendment, of course.

- Tony

Re:No particular, but any? (2, Informative)

damiam (409504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584138)

You don't need ID to ride in a passenger car. Nor to walk, ride a bike, or drive a motor vehicle off of public roads.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

syukton (256348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584190)

Or to ride a bus.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584337)

Okay, but riding in a passenger car means that my right is dependent upon somebody else's right to drive. Walking from California to Washington D.C. is so impractical as to be a denial of the right to petition, bicycling is slightly less impractical, and how do you drive a motor vehicle off public roads and get from California to D.C.?
-russ

Re:No particular, but any? (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584149)

If you can't travel anonymously, then you in fact do not have an independent right to petition your government.

What in the world has the ability to travel anonymously have to do with your right to petition the governent? There's nothing in the Constitution about the first, one way or the other but the second is guarenteed.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584299)

If the second is guaranteed, I cannot be required to identify myself to exercise it.
-russ

Amtrack, yes, Greyhound not obviously (2, Informative)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584162)

I did some more research,and Amtrack requires a photo ID. Greyhound does not obviously require a photo id from reading their website. In practice they may have the same secret law requirements; who can say, since it's a secret?
-russ

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584168)

You can't travel on the roads without a license plate, and I believe police have a wide variety of ways to stop you to ask more questions.

You're not required to have a license plate to ride a dirt bike, but if you go without a license plate, you're not legally allowed to cross state roads, so you can't go very far. Also, I think there are still laws that allow cops to stop you to make sure you're not trespassing on someone else's property?

Re:No particular, but any? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584261)

You can't travel on the roads without a license plate

You aren't allowed to operate a motorized vehicle on the roads without a license plate. You are welcome to bicycle without ID, though.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

umeboshi (196301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584268)

Farm implements, dirt bikes and four wheelers don't need registration to cross roads.

Re:No particular, but any? (2, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584188)

Some of the logic needs work, here. Needing a driver's license is hardly the same as saying you can't travel anonymously. Unless a cop pulls me over and asks to seem my license, they have NO way of knowing where I'm driving and when I'm doing so just based on the fact that I have been licensed to drive a car in the US.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584290)

Yes they do. There's all kinds of ways these days. Cell phones and traffic cameras to name two.

Re:No particular, but any? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584203)

You have to have a driver's license to drive.

I need a license to own a gun, too, but that doesn't mean anyone knows every time I go to target practice. Your reasoning is ... lacking.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

Chagrin (128939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584247)

You don't need your gun license emblazoned down the barrel of your gun so it can be seen at a distance. Cars require a license plate.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

miniver (1839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584222)

Not that I disagree with you, but in all of the US jurisdictions that I'm familiar with, you do not need ID to be a passenger in a car, a taxi, a bus, or a subway. On the other hand, for any commercial modes of transportation that cross state lines (ie: buses, trains, and airplanes), you'll need to show an ID to purchase a ticket. See a pattern here?

Re:No particular, but any? (Obvious Solution) (2, Funny)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584229)

Ride your bike man!

Pros:
  • It's much less expensive (as long as your time isn't worth much)
  • You will get in better shape

Cons:
  • Requires you to exert effort

On second thought, I must stop and ask how well this will catch on; I am afraid we'll be doomed to be on the fringe forever.
--

http://wi-fizzle.com [wi-fizzle.com] Wi-Fizzle Fo' Shizzle Dizzle!

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

SamSim (630795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584233)

The driver's licence thing is justifiable. You have it to prove your capability to pilot a chunk of metal at dangerously high speeds, not who you are.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

Quintios (594318) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584292)

Last I checked no one checks my ID when I pull out of my garage. Looks like you can still travel from place to place without someone knowing where, when, and why you're going there. Does someone check your ID when you cross a state line? How about when you pull into the Wal-Mart parking lot? How about when you go *in* Wal-Mart? What? Still no check? But, how does anyone know where you are?

They don't.

duh

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

Waye (950135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584349)

Bikes. Feet. Horses. Gliders. Skateboards. Rollerblades.

Re:No particular, but any? (1)

tdemark (512406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584366)

You have to have a driver's license to drive.

But we are talking about a Federal document. A driver's license is a state requirement. There is nothing in the Constitution that would prevent a state from saying you DON'T need a license to drive.

*AHEM*... (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584116)

Your papers ... NOW, sir.

Well, maybe so... (1, Insightful)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584120)

Aside from the fact that this has nothing to do with your rights online:

I personally have no problem with this. Given even the small chance of someone attempting to do something on a plane when i'm flying, i don't see a problem with them checking my or anyone elses ID and denying someone that flight based on a suspision. Of course one can never say "this is what i would do" until they are in that situation.

IMHO: This is a relatively minor issue anyway in the big scheme of "rights." That's just me maybe...

Re:Well, maybe so... (0, Offtopic)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584137)

Aside from the fact that this has nothing to do with your rights online:

Maybe not, but what about your rights inline?

Re:Well, maybe so... (2, Funny)

disappear (21915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584254)

Rights inline? As far as I know, you can still skate without having to have ID.

Better have health insurance, though...

Re:Well, maybe so... (4, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584182)

Why would you be any safer if everyone around you had an ID card? What are you going to do, hold it up in front of you as a shield against harm? Why are you safer if you know who you are travelling with?
-russ

Re:Well, maybe so... (5, Insightful)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584208)

Unfortunately, it just goes on and on...

If there is "even a small chance" you are talking to a terrorist then we should all have our phone calls monitored.

If there is "even a small chance" of terrorism then we should all be forced to carry identification papers.

If there is "even a small chance" you may have searched for porn then we all should have our Google searches stored and analyzed.

You may want to ignore the minor issues, but eventually they will become major issues and then it will be too late.

My thought: we should start working on an Amendment to Constitution that makes a "Right to Privacy" explicit instead of depending on the judicial branch's interpretation of the 4th Amendment. At least it would be a worthwile campaign unlike the never ending battle to create an amendment to ban flag burning at gay marriage ceremonies. This is not my idea, by the way, this was proposed by Dan Savage in a NYT editorial last year (I think).

Re:Well, maybe so... (1)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584296)

I personally have no problem with this. Given even the small chance of someone attempting to do something on a plane when i'm flying, i don't see a problem with them checking my or anyone elses ID and denying someone that flight based on a suspision. Of course one can never say "this is what i would do" until they are in that situation.

I'll bet that if your name got put on the No-Fly list that you'd start singing a different tune PDQ.

Re:Well, maybe so... (1)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584301)

Two problems with your position:

1. Massive false positive rates. Just ask anyone (and I do mean *anyone*) called 'John Nelson'. Thousands of John Nelsons have been denied boarding because one criminal, at one point in the past, used the alias 'John Nelson'. And that's just one name of the tens of thousands on the no-fly list.

2. The 9/11 hijackers, and, historically, many other aerial ne'erdo-wells, had valid ID and were not under suspicion prior to doing something nasty to a plane. Checking IDs does is, at best, a weak coerelation to aerial security. Far better to actually search people properly for weapons and bombs.

Makes Total Sense (2, Insightful)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584125)

This was a no brainer. The airline industry is a private corporation, not a federally run operation. (Yes, they are regulated by the FAA, a governmental agency). He didn't have to travel by air. It is like driving a car. It is not a right but a privledge. Travel by airline is not federal transportation, it's just more convienent.

What is more disturbing is the trend that if you walk down the street and are required to present identification by police. That is closer to the "let me see your papers" problem as there is a right to freely walk without problems.

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584193)

It's far from a no brainer.

What form of travel can you use between states that doesn't require you carry some form of identification?

Re:Makes Total Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584221)

I've skiied from California to Nevada and back without any ID.

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

Ixitar (153040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584231)

Walking, riding a bike, riding a unicycle, etc.

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584234)

Actually the question is "What federal law guarantees you the right to travel by other than your own means, that is, your own feet?"

Airlines are "common carriers" (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584228)

The airline industry is a private corporation, not a federally run operation.

So is the phone company. So what?

The airlines are "common carriers" and receive major subsidies from the government (in the form of airports and air traffic control, just to name two). As part of being common carriers they are limited in their ability to arbitrarily refuse passengers. They must treat all comers equally.

Re:Airlines are "common carriers" (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584324)

If you want a practical example, try this:

1) Show up at airport without ID (or with expired ID -- it's all the same to them)
2) Do the normal secondary security check, that they may randomly select you for anyway
3) Get on plane
4) Fly to destination
5) STFU

I did this for months because I had an expired license. It was no big deal at all. I appreciate the guy trying to make a point, but what he was actually doing was protesting the fact that he had to go through extra security to travel without ID. This just doesn't rise to the level of something we need think worry about.

Re:Airlines are "common carriers" (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584325)

Yes, and if the airlines require everyone to wear a pink tutu before traveling they can. That fact just strengthens the argument that the airlines can require as much ID as they want to over and above any federal laws. Granted while idiot at the airline with his secret law was just trying to "be someone", the airlines can make up rules as they see fit. See, for example, size of carry-ons, no use of cell-phones, require you to buy earphones for the movie, etc.

Just as you have no constitutional right to no abide by these regulations/rules you have no constitutional right to travel by airline, thus the basis for the ruling is correct. You have a right to public school because it is run by a governmental agency. You have a right to due process in a criminal case because the government is charging you with a crime. You don't have a right to a constitutional challenge against Chrystler because you car broke just because they, a private corporation, received a federal loan. It's about control, the federal government does not run the airlines. And even if they did, there is no right to be anonymous when exercising every right you have. Look at driver's licenses. They are controlled by the government but you have provide all your information to gain that right.

Re:Makes Total Sense (5, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584244)

The trouble is that the private corporations are claiming that they would be willing to let him fly without picture ID, but the government is preventing them from doing so with a secret law.

If your only mode of travel is to walk from California to the District of Columbia in order to petition your government, then you are *effectively* denied your right to petition. If you have to persuade or pay someone to drive you, you don't have a right to travel to petition the government; you are relying on someone else's right to travel. If I only have a right because someone else has a right, then I don't have that right.
-russ

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584348)

>>If your only mode of travel is to walk from California to the District of Columbia in order to petition your government, then you are *effectively* denied your right to petition.

Nope, you just choose not to walk. No one is saying you can't petition, you just have to get their however you choose. The basis for the argument is that there is no "right" to travel by airline. It's a privlege, not a right.

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

maxxdogg (138149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584246)

I'm sick of this "it's not a right it's a priviledge" concept. Is that really the law? I always considered it a ploy used by the DMV to scare teenagers into driving safely. Whatever happened to that crazy "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness [wikipedia.org] " concept this country used to follow. Even the Declaration of Independence declares that we have the right to PURSUE happiness. Not to let it come to us, not to find happiness locally...but to actively pursue it. Now tell me, how can I pursue happiness without a car? Don't I have a right to pursue happiness using a plane?

I guess we have the right to pursue happiness if it is within walking distance. Otherwise, if you want to pursue happiness out of your general are...show me the papers.

 

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584250)

This was a no brainer. The airline industry is a private corporation, not a federally run operation. (Yes, they are regulated by the FAA, a governmental agency). He didn't have to travel by air. It is like driving a car. It is not a right but a privledge. Travel by airline is not federal transportation, it's just more convienent.

So let's say I set up Anonymity Air, we dispense with all of the fol-de-rol of checking IDs (which has little or nothing to do with safety and is actually the airlines way of making sure you didn't sell your ticket to someone else). We insure the safety of our passengers by having rigorous positive bag matching (if you don't get on the plane then neither do your bags, something we still don't have four years after 9/11) and by having a couple of armed guards in a compartment between the passengers and the cockpit, can I still operate? Well no I can't, you see the FAA won't let me operate an airline unless I comply with their stupid ID checking regulations, which they won't let you or I see because they're sooper dooper top seekrit or some such nonsense. So at this point the federal government is restricting your rights. The airline is not a totally free private actor in a free market.

Oh, and I'm willing to bet that you're white because white people don't have a problem with having suspicious looking brown people refused passage on a flight. I'm sure though that if someone put your name on the TSA's no-fly list that you'd be singing a different tune very, very quickly.

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584276)

This was a no brainer. The airline industry is a private corporation, not a federally run operation. (Yes, they are regulated by the FAA, a governmental agency).
You are missing the point. Yes, the airlines are generally free to deny boarding to people -- but in this case, the airlines were acting as agents of the government. The government (through the TSA) had ordered the airlines to follow certain secret procedures. Thus, it was the government that was denying him boarding.

Try to set up an airline that does not require id for boarding and see how long it is before you are shut down!

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

camusflage (65105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584302)

The airline industry is a private corporation, not a federally run operation.

Except that said private corporations said "there is a secret FAA regulation that requires us to check your ID. You want to see it? Well, it's secret, and you'll just have to trust us." This same line was repeated by the FAA.

What is more disturbing is the trend that if you walk down the street and are required to present identification by police.

Trend nothing.. Hibel vs. Nevada gave the absolute right to ask someone for the ID, and when not proffered, be placed under arrest.

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

FathomIT (464334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584329)

The airline industry is a private corporation, not a federally run operation...they are regulated by the FAA


Yes, and in a perfect world the airline industry regulates its identfication policy and is not subject to report this information to the FAA without a warrant. I'd rather fly on an anonymous flight then be required to whip out an ID everywhere.

It is like driving a car. It is not a right but a privledge.

In a perfect world this too would be a right not just a privlege. Unfortunately there is no law that requires license plates act soley to collect revenue and retrieve stolen vehicles.
What is more disturbing is the trend that if you walk down the street and are required to present identification by police.


Very disturbing...no where near perfect :)

Re:Makes Total Sense (1)

ThatDamnMurphyGuy (109869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584367)

The airline industry is a private corporation, not a federally run operation

Not entirely true. Since my tax dollars have bailed out the airline industry at least 4 times since 9/11, I don't believe they can be considered totaly private. Once the government deemed them a necessity to our economy (aka, a utility), we need to have more rights to use that 'utility'.

Stupid (5, Insightful)

LocalH (28506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584126)

The Constitution does not guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation.
So, I guess Judge Paez lives in that fantasy world where the rights of the people must be explicitly given within the Constitution, or they don't have them.

Re:Stupid (1, Flamebait)

Quintios (594318) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584263)

So, I guess Judge Paez lives in that fantasy world where the rights of the people must be explicitly given within the Constitution, or they don't have them.

Uh, no. No one has the right to a car, cell phone, job, cable tv, or even a pair of shoes. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? That covers a lot of things. You have the right to travel, but it just might not get you where you want to go as fast (try two legs).

When you put my life in your hands, I somewhat expect you to provide a bit of security. If I'm on a plane, I expect that everyone's been searched and no KNOWN terrorists are on board. If I'm taking a taxi, if I'm taking anyone along with me I'm going to either know them or they aren't coming along. Traveling in groups can be quite dangerous as we've seen what can happen with 9/11, of course. I'm sick and tired of all these people that cry about giving up anonymonity when traveling. Well tough luck. You don't like it? Start walking.

Re:Stupid (1)

vslashg (209560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584279)

So, I guess Judge Paez lives in that fantasy world where the rights of the people must be explicitly given within the Constitution, or they don't have them.
No, Judge Paez lives in the reality world where the legislative branch, and not the judicial branch, writes law.

If you're unhappy with this, your beef should be with Congress, not the 9th Circuit.

Re:Stupid (1)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584343)

I'm sorry, but what did the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people mean again?

Re:Stupid (1)

tdvaughan (582870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584321)

No, he lives in that legal world where he has to judge the issue presented to him and nothing else. Someone's constitutional rights can't be violated if that person never had those rights guaranteed by the consitution in the first place.

Ninth amendment to the U.S. Constitution: (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584340)

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Re:Stupid (5, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584341)

This argument is precisely why some of the Framers opposed the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution does not say "these are the things people get to do." It says "These are the things that the Government is not allowed to do."

Of course. (3, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584128)

"The Constitution does not guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation."

Time to get out the horse and buggy, with that federal logic...

Re:Of course. (2, Insightful)

tim1724 (28482) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584189)

"The Constitution does not guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation."
Time to get out the horse and buggy, with that federal logic...

who says you have the right to travel by horse and buggy, either? What's to stop them from requiring an ID for every form of transportation? No individual form is guaranteed, so therefore there's no guarantee that any form is.

Anonymity? (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584133)

From the Website: "A decision is expected within the next few months. At stake is nothing less than the right of Americans to travel anonymously in their own countr"

I'm sorry, but case after case has shown that Anonymity is not constitutionally protected. If you can get someone to front for you (e.g. a newspaper), then they may choose to withhold your identity; possibly facing legal pentalities when they are court ordered to provide it. People seem to have this idea in their heads that Freedom of Speech == Freedom of Anonymity. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Re:Anonymity? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584206)

What troubles me is not that ID is required to board a plane. That is perfectly reasonable and something that courts have upheld.

I am troubled because Gilmore was told the law requiring him to present an ID was secret. While not explicitly stated, to my knowledge, in the Consistution, one would expect that one of the unwritten rights granted to the people is the right to know what the law is. After all, aren't the people one of the checks and balances in the Constitution? And how can they serve in that role if they're not allowed to know what the laws are?

Re:Anonymity? (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584264)

Where in the Constitution are any of my rights conditioned upon the ability and willingness to present photo identification? I don't have a right to anonymity; you are welcome to yell out my name wherever I go. None of my rights are conditional upon my willingness to identify myself.
-russ

Sorry, but you're wrong... (2, Informative)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584356)

The EFF would disagree with you [eff.org] , oh and so would the Supreme Court of the United States [cornell.edu] . The Supreme Court has upheld anonymity throughout history, give or take. It's a subset of free speech. That's not to say that you can fly anonymous, but you can certainly speak you mind in anonymity if you wish.

The driving controversy in the case was not necessarily the ID requirement but that the regulations requiring ID are technically illegal under FAA regulations that require all regulations to be publically available. The ID requirement is secret. A secret law in a free country. Now that should give you pause.

ID Check Legal, What about baggage? (3, Interesting)

johnkoer (163434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584134)

This case states that checking ID is legal, however I am wondering if they tried the same thing against "random" baggage searches, would it hold up? According to this ruling, since there are other means of transportation, the airlines can dictate checking IDs. However, the people who are checking the IDs and the baggage work for the government, so couldn't this be considered an unconstitutional search, especially in the baggage scenario?

Probably constutional (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584309)

For the same reason, that it's optional. The limitation on search and seziure has been interpreted to mean that police can just go and search your house and such for no reason, not that they can't ever search you or your things.

Also the amount of reason needed is variable. Since your home is considered to be very private, a warrant is mandidated. Cars are much less private, so probable cause is usually the standard (varies by state). Means the police need a specific reason and something to back it up, but they don't have to go in front of a judge first. Now if you go some place like a courthouse, then it's not a question, you WILL be searched, and so will your bags.

Sorry, bub... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584153)

It seems your legs have become broken somehow during your temporary detention. But that's okay, you can always freely travel in a wheelchair, or some other mode of transportation.

Now, move along. Nothing to see here.

It's the airline's property.... (1, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584159)

...so if they want to check your id before they let you onboard, its their right.

Re:It's the airline's property.... (4, Insightful)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584274)

This is where the grey area lies. The airlines should have the right to refuse to allow you to board... as long as they refund your ticket with no penalty.
 
If a company accepts payment for a service (such as transportation from point A to point B), then either they must provide that service or refund the payment in full.

Re:It's the airline's property.... (2, Informative)

jumpingfred (244629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584310)

I thought that the TSA employees were federal employees now. When I fly domestically not checking in luggage nobody is checking my ID except TSA. The only ID check that is being done is at the security line to get to the gates. No one checks ID when I get onto the plane anymore.

Constitutional Right to Hide in a Corner (3, Interesting)

Carcass666 (539381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584160)

I would hardly consider myself a conservative (at least in the Neocon sense), but it is a but discouraging to have individuals keep asserting "constitutional" rights which are completely illusory.

There is no constitutional right to complete anonymity, there never was. There is protection in the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure. Asking for your identification before boarding a plane is no more unreasonable than asking for your ID when making a credit card transaction, if for nothing else to ensure you are not stealing somebody else's ticket (notwithstanding the security issues).

When the EFF (or anybody else) raises a fit over something that is this unobtrusive, it makes it more difficult for voices to be heard when our government is so outside the law it feels the need to bypass warrants, even those issued from secret rubber-stamping courts. Those who argue "security above all else" simply lump civil libertarians in with nut jobs who want to be as anonymous in real life as they are when playing Warcraft.

Re:Constitutional Right to Hide in a Corner (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584177)

There is no constitutional right to complete anonymity, there never was.
Please show me the part of the Constitution that explicitly denies a right to anonymity, then.

Visa/Mastercard think it's unreasonable (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584280)

Asking for your identification before boarding a plane is no more unreasonable than asking for your ID when making a credit card transaction,

Visa and Mastercard think it's unreasonable, boss. If you ask for an ID with a credit card, and that card is signed on the back, you can loose your merchant account. That's how my contract reads anyway. I think that's pretty standard though. You don't need an ID to use cash, therefore, they don't want merchants requiring it for card transactions either. Ultimately, it's the merchant that gets hung with no goods and no funds in a fraudulent transaction, so they don't really care about anything besides that.

Re:Constitutional Right to Hide in a Corner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584300)

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people .

Anonymous (by sovereign ***free*** choice) Patriot!

Re:Constitutional Right to Hide in a Corner (2, Informative)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584346)

The long forgotten and ignored 9th Amendment says it best:

Amendment IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

and the tenth reiterates it:

Amendment X - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

By any reasonable reading that seems to means that if the Constitution doesn't say "you must show photo id to travel" then you should have the right to travel without a photo id.

legality, constitutionality, who cares? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584181)

Just because it's "legal" or "constitutional" for the government to do it doesn't mean we have to accept it.

It was "constitutional" and "legal" to own slaves, so what? Does that mean it's ok?

"Sorry, Mr. Blackguy but no where in the constitution does it state that you have a right not to be a slave to stop bitching you hippy, I know since I wrote it!" George W.

Re:legality, constitutionality, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584313)

'It was "constitutional" and "legal" to own slaves, so what? Does that mean it's ok?'

No, but that's not the same as saying that it was illegal. If you were paying attention in your history classes, you'll note that it became not-OK when amendments were passed to make it illegal. (Since you apparently missed that lesson, do note that Lincoln only *freed* slaves, and only in non-Union-held areas. He didn't ban the practice. That was up to... wait for it... the legislative branch. Whose job it is to make the laws, after all.)

In other words, bitch to your Congresscritter or Senator, don't whine about a judge upholding the law.

guarantee the "right"? (3, Insightful)

blue_adept (40915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584186)

The Constitution does not guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation

Well, does the constitution guarantee the right to be allowed on the front of a bus? Or on a bus it all? Does it guarantee the right to visit a grocery store?

Maybe, just maybe, the DEFAULT should be that everything is allowed (isn't that called freedom?), except for those specific things that harm society in general.

Re:guarantee the "right"? (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584215)

Funny, because that's the way the Constitution was set up to begin with. Remember the Bill of Rights? There were those who were against including the Bill of Rights because they feared it would perpetuate the mindset that the only rights the people have are those that are explicitly written out, despite the inclusion of the 9th Amendment. Looks like they were right.

Re:guarantee the "right"? (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584251)

There is a big difference between travelling freely and travelling anonymously. You could infer the constitution gives you the right to travel "freely", you could not infer the "anonymously" part at all.

Re:guarantee the "right"? (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584347)

I thought it was SOP to deny all rights then allow only the ones you want to?

Oh, wait, are we building a routing table or a country here?

Baggage Search (2, Interesting)

digid (259751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584205)

My step-father was in the "decontamination zone" of a very busy airport and was stopped by airport security who stopped him to do a search. They didn't say what they were searching for. They said they were conducting the search because they received a "tip." He didn't want any trouble and had nothing to hide so he let them do what they wanted to do. They searched him right there in front of many people. They did not even offer to do it privately. Kind of embarrassing. Not sure if this is legal or not. Anyone have any info on these type of searches?

Slippery slope (1)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584237)

Britain is somewhat ahead of the USA in this regard. Because ID checking is legal and accepted at airports, the authorities are keen to introduce it at railway stations, before boarding a train, and on journeys by coach. From there it is only a small step to require some kind of prior notification, so that the police will know who is on a train or coach before it leaves.

I doubt that Gilmore vs Gonzales will look quite so benign if the USA goes down the same route, which it looks like doing. Then, people may find themselves legally obliged to fill out a long form before catching a train or coach to see their folks for the weekend, and wait in a queue for a couple of hours while their luggage is put through a scanner on the platform or roadside.

Your papers please... (1)

FrankieBoy (452356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584238)

Nice. The home of the free. Like they're going to stop terrorism by catching bad guys boarding planes without ID's. Any terrorist worth his or her salt would have plenty of fake ID's. I really doubt that the terrorists will be flying planes into buildings anymore, there's lots of other ways to wreak havoc. If the government and airlines were really worried about security in the air then they would seal the cockpits before any passengers boarded and not open them up until the plane has landed safely. But that would require spending money. I flew back from Texas recently and realized after boarding the plane that I had showed the security person my boarding pass from the previous flight I had taken TO Texas. "You are now not free to move about the country."

Re:Your papers please... (1)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584287)

That's strange. What airline was this that let you on board using a boarding pass from another flight?
From my flying experiences with Continental and American Airlines, every boarding pass is scanned using a barcode scanner right at the boarding gate. You wouldn't be able to board the plane if they scanned your boarding pass from a previous flight.
So, want to explain that?

two problems (4, Interesting)

belmolis (702863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584265)

I have two problems with this decision. First, while I won't argue that there is an absolute right to anonymity, I have yet to hear an argument for the proposition that checking ID makes flying safer. The 9/11 terrorists had valid ID. If the government is using ID as a substitute for searches or X-ray or whatever is actually needed, they're kidding themselves.

The larger problem with this decision is the court's acceptance of the claim that there can be secret laws and regulations and specifically that this regulation is legitimately secret. The very idea of secret laws and regulations is inconsistent with open, democratic government. Moreover, not a shred of justification has been offered for the secrecy of this particular regulation. (The only situation I can imagine in which a secret regulation might be legitimate is when it has to mention something whose existence is a legitimate secret, but even then it would seem that the regulation could be revealed to those that it affects (since they would know about the secret anyhow) and that it should be possible to publish the regulation in a more abstract form (e.g. classifying some class of weapons).) What conceivable basis could there be for classifying a regulation requiring passengers to produce ID?

That freedom of travel thing... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584271)

No, it's true that we are not guaranteed freedom of travel by any particular means which means I could potentially and legally be denied the right to get into someone's POV without an I.D. or something, but this is the government stepping into a private industry, regulating it and then denying us our constitutionally guaranteed rights. The government which is supposed to ensure our constitutional rights regulating our freedom of travel by denying us anonymous purchasing.

Now would we get the same ruling if we couldn't get into a taxi cab without an ID? I'm starving for examples where we can actually travel without I.D. at some point any longer. Can you still get on a bus without an I.D.? I can see a reason for traveling into the country requiring valid I.D. I can't see one for leaving and I can't see one for travel within the country. The fact that it's on a plane versus a bus is simply ridiculous and for a constitutional court to attempt to make that distinction is complete B.S. since specific modes and technologies could not and should not be addressed in constitutional law. We either have the right to travel anonymously or we don't. The mode of travel is and should be irrelevant.

Re:That freedom of travel thing... (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584328)

Let me make it easy for you...you don't have the right to travel "anonymously" just "freely". Those are two different things. I don't know where all you /.'ers came up with the idea that you have a right to "anonymous" travel. That isn't even inferred anywhere.

Anonymously not driving (1)

wbhauck (629723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584284)

You need a drivers license to drive a car, but you don't need to register a travel route to drive from coast to coast. Avoid toll roads (toll booths with cameras / EZPass) and your car isn't "tracked." Pay cash at the gas station and even your credit card company won't know where you've been.

Also, just because you have a driver's license doesn't mean you actually drive anywhere.

Man o man... (4, Insightful)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584285)

From the article:

"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."

The constitution may no guarantee that a person be allowed to travel in any particular manner but I'm pretty sure "secret laws" are not constitutional and that is the real issue here.

US Gestapo: "Sir you are under arrest."
Victim: "What for?"
US Gestapo: "You broke the law Sir"
Victim: "What law?"
US Gestapo: "The secret law that we won't tell you about."
Victim: "I didn't know we even had secret laws!"
US Gestapo: "Ignorance of the law is no excuse Sir. Come with us."
Victim: "I want my lawyer!"
US Gestapo: "We aren't charging you Sir and you don't get to talk to your lawyer. Come with us."

To the Supreme Court we go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584288)

"The Constitution does not guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation."

Ahem.. 9th Amendment verbatim:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

aka, just because a right is not written in the Constitution does not mean we don't have it. We do have it.

Oh and the tenth:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

To the Supreme Court we go..

Clearly, (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584294)

the Constitution and the Bill of Rights only apply to technologies present in 1789.

All the leading justices say so.

To Save Time... (0, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584298)

Here is a summry of all 800 posts to come...

1> George Bush will be called a wanna be dictator who will take away your rights
2> Right Wing Wackos will call people who believe that left wing wackos.
3> Left Wing Wackos will call people who disagree with them stupid uneducated Believed in I.D.

There may be slight variations, but that's about how all other Rights Online discussions have gone.

"Paper please!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584331)

"You've been identified as having more than 1/32 of arabian heirtage, and thus is considered as a potential terrorist."

"Before we move you to a ... work camp for your own protection, please step take a refreshing shower ... right this way ..."

Slightly OT - are "Fake" IDs ok? (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584350)

I seem to recall, maybe it is urban lore, that having an alias is perfectly legal, as long as it is not for fraudulent purposes. I posit that being "anonymous" is not a fraudulent purpose...

So, is there a law saying you can only have one legal identity?

This is all begging the question of how you would legally obtain an alternate valid id, that was not tracable to the real you...

Disturbing? (1)

perigee369 (837140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584351)

Is it me or is this a disturbing precedent? Just one step closer to "Papers, comrade" everywhere you go...

Just one little comment (1)

adminsr (919472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584354)

I would agree with Gilmore if it was public transportation, the government's invasion of privacy is getting out of hand, but the case had to be decided this way. Airlines are private companies: they can require their customers to balance a ball on their nose and bark like a seal if they so wish. We really need to worry when the government starts regulating what private businesses can do.

Wow! The U.S. 9th Circuit Court ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584360)

Unbelievable. This is the US 9th Circuit? From the Peoples Republic of California? They must be "pod people". Either that or they now realize that with the changes in the Supreme Court they're going to be overturned on a regular basis and have decided that it's time for them to finally go mainstream.
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