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Freedom Two Point O - Distributed Democracy - Dialogue for a Connected Word


May 18, 2004



Conference in Washington, DC to Explore Privacy, Open Government, and Democracy


WASHINGTON, DC - Just in time for the EPIC policy conference "Freedom 2.0," the International Spy Museum opens a new exhibit that provides unprecedented insight into terror on American soil from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorism.

Admission to a special showing at the Spy Museum on Friday, May 21 is for attendees at "Freedom 2.0: Distributed Democracy, Dialogue for a Connected World." The conference is open to the public. Registration information is available at http://www.epic04.org/. Registration will begin Thursday, May 20 at 3 pm at the Washington Club on Dupont Circle.

"The Enemy Within: Terror in America - 1776 to Today," the only museum exhibit to provide historic perspective on acts of terror that have taken place on American soil, opened May 13, 2004 as the International Spy Museum's first special exhibit.

"The Enemy Within" will reveal nine major events and periods in U.S. History when Americans were threatened by enemies within its borders: depicting how the government and public responded, illustrating the corresponding evolution of U.S. counterintelligence and homeland security efforts, and examining the challenge of securing the nation without compromising the civil liberties upon which it was founded.

Marc Rotenberg, President of EPIC, said, "Attendees at Freedom 2.0 will have an extraordinary opportunity to view this timely and important exhibit. To understand the threats to our nation -- both from acts of terrorism and the loss of liberty -- we should look closely at how the United States has responded during similar periods in the past."

EPIC has been among the leading civil liberties organizations in the United States calling for a careful examination of the government's proposals to expand police powers after 9-11. EPIC has also successfully pursued several Freedom of Information Act cases, including one against the Attorney General John Ashcroft and another against the former director of the Total Information Awareness program John Poindexter.

"Public understanding of the nature of terrorism and the actions of government is a critical requirement for an effective response to future threats of terrorism. EPIC's open government requests combined with the Spy Museum's extraordinary exhibit help promote a vital public debate," said Rotenberg.

The following dramatic moments in U.S. history - all frightening, and destabilizing events - represent times when Americans have felt threatened within their own borders. Each precipitated legislation and/or new counterintelligence measures and provoked debate about protecting both citizens and civil liberties.

  • The City of Washington Captured and the White House Burned - August 24, 1814
    During the War of 1812, the City of Washington was captured and the White House, Capitol, and other major public buildings were torched by British troops-aided by information provided by a few Americans.
  • Manhattan Hit by Massive Explosions in New York Harbor - July 30, 1916
    German secret agents, aided by American collaborators, blew up a munitions depot in New York Harbor showering Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty with shrapnel and debris. Acts of German sabotage on America soil like this contributed to America 's entry into World War I, and inspired the passage of the 1918 Espionage Act, still in effect today, and the growth of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Anarchist Bombs Target American Leaders - June 2, 1919
    When the home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer was bombed by an anarchist and plots for more bombings were revealed, both the public and the government clamored for tighter law enforcement and more restrictive legislation for immigrants, resulting in the roundups, deportations, and public outrage associated with the now infamous "Palmer Raids."
  • 30,000 Ku Klux Klan Members Parade Down Pennsylvania Avenue - August 8, 1925
    The nation's oldest hate group, Ku Klux Klan, has risen three times in the nation's history. Each time, the group changed, evolving from small vigilante groups inflicting terror on former slaves after the Civil War; to a politically powerful organization of four-million members in the 1920s expanding its targets to include immigrants, Jews, and Catholics; to the violent groups of the1960s attacking African Americans and civil rights workers. Today, a diminished Klan is only one among many white supremacist groups.
  • American Helps Japanese Pilot Terrorize Hawaiian Island After Pearl Harbor Attack - December 7, 1941
    A Japanese pilot returning from the Pearl Harbor attack, crash-landed on the Hawaiian Island of Nihau, and with the support of a Japanese American, took hostages and terrorized the community. This incident, little remembered today, perpetuated fears about Japanese Americans-fears that ultimately led to the unprecedented incarceration of thousands.
  • Kremlin Launches one of the first Cold War Attacks against the U.S. - April 1945
    Near the end of WWII, the Kremlin harshly condemned American Communists for softening their commitment to a worldwide communist revolution. The Communist Party of the United States snapped to action, ousting its moderate leader and reestablishing itself as a highly militant and subversive organization-and fueling America 's fears that American Communists would become Stalin's tool for the overthrow of the U.S. government.
  • Radical Group Explodes Bomb in the U.S. Capitol - March 1, 1971
    Protests over the war in Vietnam War and civil rights turned violent during the "days of rage," and extremist groups, such as the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army, took action.
  • Massive Bomb Destroys the Federal Building in Oklahoma City - April 19, 1995
    The Oklahoma City bombing, the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil in the 20th century, awakened Americans to the threats posed by domestic extremists-especially the virulently anti-government right-wing groups.
  • Beyond September 11th - Terrorism Today
    In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 initiatives by the U.S. government to root out terrorists elements in the country have irrevocably changed the lives of Americans.

The Enemy Within will support these stories with historic photographs, themed environments, interactive displays, film, artifacts, and video. Exhibit highlights include:

  • A timeline that traces over 80 acts of terror that have taken place in the U.S. from the 1776 to today, including the Revolutionary War plot to kidnap George Washington, the events of Bloody Kansas prior to the Civil War, John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry, 1960s Church bombings in the South, and the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.
  • Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's Personal Telephone - used during the 1960s by Hoover to communicate with the President and key leaders.
  • APL Badge and ID Card (1917) - carried by Operatives of the American Protective League (APL) who spied on their fellow Americans on behalf of the U.S. Justice Department during World War I.
  • Anarchist Globe Bomb (c. 1886 ) - presented as evidence in the trial of the men tried in connection with the Chicago Haymarket riot (replica).
  • Ritual Klan Red Robe (c. 1965) - worn by the Klan "Kladd," the elected Klan officer who presided over the secret rituals and ceremonies of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Klan "Business Cards" - ominous warnings to innocent Americans that their every move was being "watched."
  • Weather Underground Video Presentation - featuring an exclusive interview with ex-Weather Underground member Bernadine Dohrn, filmed for the exhibition.
  • Fragments of the Planes that hit the World Trade Center (2001) - recovered following the attacks on September 11, 2001 and used as evidence by the FBI in their ensuing investigation.
  • Under Siege - a powerful eight-minute film exploring the terrorist threat today, initiatives by the U.S. government to root out terrorists elements in the U.S., the balance between civil liberties and national security, and the impact on the daily lives of Americans. It features a range of interviews with leading thinkers, including Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum, Akbar S. Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies and Professor of International Relations at American University in Washington, DC Steven Emerson, terrorist expert and investigator, and Morris Dees, co-founder and Chief Trial Counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • Visitor Polling Station - this unique computer interactive provides visitors the opportunity to express their own opinions on questions raised in the exhibition about how the nation has responded to the historical events presented. The questions were developed in consultation with The Gallup Organization, and additional historical questions enable visitors to see how Americans responded to similar questions posed by The Gallup Poll at that time in history.

The International Spy Museum, the only public institution in the world dedicated to presenting the world history of espionage, features the largest permanent collection of international spy-related artifacts on public display. Through interactive exhibits with state-of-the-art audiovisual effects, film, and hands-on components, the Museum traces the evolution of espionage through the people who practiced the profession and it provides a context for guests to better interpret the role intelligence plays in current events.

"Freedom 2:0: Distributed Democracy, Dialogue for a Connected World" will bring together civil society leaders, academic experts, and government decision makers to explore the critical challenges facing the Information Society - the protection of privacy, the transparency of government, the promotion of the Public Voice, and the need to assess the reliability of electronic voting systems.

Speakers include Senator Patrick Leahy, who will receive the EPIC Champion of Freedom Award, Rep. Rush Holt, who has introduced legislation to improve the reliability of electronic voting systems, Ambassador David Gross, who leads the US delegation to the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, Vinton G. Cerf, Chairman of ICANN, Nuala O'Connor Kelley, Chief Privacy Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, and Giovanni Buttarelli, Secretary General of the Italian Data Protection Authority.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is hosting the Freedom 2.0 conference. EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values. Well regarded for its innovative and effective advocacy, EPIC is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

The Freedom 2.0 conference is open to the public. Registration information is available at http://www.epic04.org/. Registration will begin Thursday, May 20 at 3 pm at the Washington Club on Dupont Circle.




Amanda Abrell

Media Relations Manager

International Spy Museum




EPIC Conference office (for registration information)


http://www.epic04.org/ (Conference homepage)


Marc Rotenberg, EPIC President


http://www.epic.org/ (EPIC homepage)