By Kit Grant, ACLU – Honolulu
HONOLULU – Can democracy survive secrecy? What is the future of the First Amendment in a surveillance society? These questions will be the focus of a rare and provocative public discussion at the Davis Levin First Amendment Conference (“Conference”) happening Saturday, February 14th in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Edward Snowden will be featured live via satellite during the event.
Though held on O’ahu, the event will be carried live on Maui on Akaku: Maui Community Television. The schedule includes a screening of “Citizen Four,” the documentary on Edward Snowden that Maui TV News reviewer Paul Janes-Brown called “…the most important documentary ever made…”
The segment featuring Snowden live via video link is scheduled from noon – 1:30 p.m., HST on Valentine’s Day.
Edward Snowden’s release of documents detailing massive government surveillance sparked a raging global debate which continues to this day. Choosing not remain anonymous, Snowden traded home and career for a life in exile, fleeing the U.S., and eventually taking residence in Russia.
A high-level intelligence analyst based in Hawai‘i, in 2013, Snowden provided documents to the press proving the existence (previously shrouded by government as highly sensitive state secrets) of multiple NSA programs that even today collect and use data on ordinary Americans on an extraordinary scale.
The program will also feature Snowden’s attorney and Director of the national ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, Ben Wizner. Speakers will share their views on whistleblowing, balancing government secrecy in wartime against the public’s right to know, and the possible futures facing free speech in America. Moderated by Aviam Soifer, Dean of the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law.
Seating is limited. Tickets are $5.00. RSVPs are requested no later than Tuesday, 2/10/15. Pay by check to the ACLU of Hawai‘i Foundation, or via Visa or Mastercard by phone. To reserve, call (808) 522-5906, neighbor islands call toll-free, 1-877-544-5906. Email email@example.com, or mail reservations to First Amendment Conference/P.O. Box 3410, Hon., HI 96801. Parking at the Hawai‘i Convention Center is $10.00, also served by major bus lines. Please visit http://www.thebus.org for more information.
The Hawai‘i Convention Center is ADA-accessible. Request special accommodation no later than Tuesday, 2/10/15. The ACLU of Hawai‘i will always try to meet requests.
The Davis Levin First Amendment Conference is a lively, civil discussion between prominent constitutional thinkers fostering awareness & dialogue about the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, underwritten by the Davis Levin Livingston Charitable Foundation. Established as a public education project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i Foundation in 1997 with grants from the Robert M. Rees Trust & the law firm of Davis Levin Livingston, the Conference is named for attorneys Mark S. Davis & Stanley E. Levin for their work defending the First Amendment in Hawai‘i. Prior speakers: Daniel Ellsberg, Kenneth Starr, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Ralph Reed, Nadine Strossen, and Jay Sekulow.