a secret government is a police state


Feds request secrecy in suit

Say disclosing arguments in airport case would be harmful

May Wong
Associated Press
Sept. 6, 2004 12:00 AM

SAN FRANCISCO - 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. 9th 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.

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.

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