Posted by Thomas R. Burke The Transportation Security Administration and the FBI have agreed to pay $200,000 in attorneys’ fees to the ACLU to settle a Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act lawsuit filed in 2003 seeking information about the government’s “no fly” list to screen airline passengers. ACLU press release here; additional news coverage here. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California in San Francisco approved the settlement Tuesday afternoon (1/24/06). The Plaintiffs — Rebecca Gordon and Janet Adams, were stopped at San Francisco International in 2002, told they were on the government’s “no fly” list, and not allowed to fly until “screened” by local law enforcement. Gordon and Adams sued after the FBI said it had no records responsive to their FOIA request and after the TSA refused to even publicly acknowledge that it was using such a screening process. The Gordon/Adams Freedom of Information Act lawsuit accomplished at least three things: First, it forced the government to publicly concede that it was using a “no fly” and other watch lists to screen airline passengers after September 11th; Second, the documents released revealed for the first time, the exponential growth of the “no fly” list — from only 16 names on the government’s “no transport” list as of September 11, 2001 and within days thereafter, hundreds of names; within a year, over 1,000 names; and over 30,000 names now. Third, the released documents revealed the subjective nature of how the government decides to include a name on the “no fly” list and informed the public debate about the privacy and security implications that flow from a process in which the government’s practices remain virtually unchecked. A complete set of the documents released through this litigation are available online here.