Meet John Gilmore. He's a 49 year-old philanthropist who lives in San Francisco, California. Through a lot of hard work (and a little luck), 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 fortune to protect and defend the US Constitution.Oral arguments in the case of Gilmore v. Gonzalez will be heard in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 8th.
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. He went to Oakland International Airport -- ticket in hand -- and 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.
[emphasis added - bc]
There's quite a bit of good information on the case, and why it's important, at the site that John Gilmore has set up:
PapersPlease.org - Gilmore v. Gonzales
Gilmore is a principled libertarian, not some random crank. He's one of the co-founders, and still sits on the Board of Directors of, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was employee #5 at Sun Microsystems; he's also the guy who made the timeless (and highly accurate) observation: "The Net treats censorship as damage and routes around it."