Papers, can I see your papers, please?

The phrase “papers, can I see your papers” brings back one massive conglomerate image in my mind of the hundreds of cold-war spy movies I’ve wasted my time on … the hero/ine is stepping onto the train or walking through the street in some Eastern bloc country with a totalitarian government.

But that could never happen here, could it? Maybe it already has ….

This article has already been linked to by many, but I wanted to blog it, even if I’m the last one on the planet to do so. Why? It’s important. It matters.

John Gilmore, founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is fighting the fact that you have to show ID to travel on an airplane in the US on domestic flights. He’s saying, in essence, that internal passports, a la the bad old cold war days in the USSR are back: but now they’re in the US of A.

Apparently the law that requires Americans to show their ID on a domestic flight is not available for public scrutiny. You heard that right: it’s a secret law. In America, the “land of the free.”


Americans: find ways to fight this. At the very least, all the laws of a nation should be visible and debatable. If not, you’re one step closer to a police state.

That said, I have no idea what regulations and/or laws govern similar rules in Canada ….