Two weeks ago I told you about millionaire John Gilmore, who lost in federal district court after he sued the Transportation Security Administration because he was denied boarding to aircraft after refusing to show identification. At that time he announced The Identity Project, which is investigating whether people who fail to show ID are actually allowed to board aircraft, as TSA claimed in court. The first results are in, and for once, it’s somewhat good news.
After receiving more than 80 responses, IDP found that TSA was allowing people to board who did not show ID, after subjecting them to secondary security screening, or accepting non-government issued identification.
“This was the first time someone has ‘reverse-engineered’ the process to find out what it takes to get on an airline without identification,” Bill Scannell, Gilmore’s publicist and one of the people who helped organize the IDP investigation, told National Journal.
While TSA does in fact allow people to board aircraft without showing government-issued identification, it doesn’t publish this fact on its Web site, nor does it necessarily advise travelers of this option at the airport.
“This is a nation of laws. People should just be able to say: ‘Give me the secondary,'” Scannell continued. “People shouldn’t have to say: ‘The dog ate my homework.'”
Indeed. If I don’t want to show ID to travel, I shouldn’t have to. This is the United States of America. Let’s not remake it in the image of the Soviet Union.