ACLU of Hawai'i Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Gala Awards Dinner

Affiliate: ACLU of Hawaii
September 8, 2005 12:00 am

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ACLU of Hawaii
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Keynote Speech by Internationally Renowned Security Technologist and Author Bruce Schneier; Local Civil Liberties Advocates to be Recognized at Special Awards Ceremony

HONOLULU – The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai’i celebrates 40 years of protecting the Bill of Rights with a gala fundraising event on September 25 featuring a keynote address by renowned author, security critic and commentator Bruce Schneier. Three awards will be presented to local individuals for outstanding work to promote civil liberties awareness. The event will occur at the Renaissance Waikiki Ilikai Hotel beginning at 5:00 p.m.

“”At a time when our nation’s leaders are proposing further erosions to civil liberties in order to increase national security, our keynote speaker will offer a unique perspective about what our government is doing and what the public can do about it,”””” said Vanessa Y. Chong, Executive Director of the ACLU of Hawai’i.

The address by keynote speaker Bruce Schneier will be “”The Future of Liberty: Rethinking Security Trade-Offs.””

Schneier, a sought-after security expert, looks at the nation’s systems put in place post-9/11 such as the Patriot Act, tighter screening at airports, a color-coded alert system and the Department of Homeland Security. He will discuss the non-security motivations for many of the country’s security proposals and explain how future technological developments will leave us less safe, and not more. Schneier believes that a security vs. privacy choice is a false one; the true trade-off is liberty vs. control.

Described by The Economist as a “”security guru,”” Schneier’s latest book, Beyond Fear, tackles the problems of security from the small to the large: personal safety, crime, corporate security and national security. His first bestselling book, Applied Cryptography , explained how the arcane science of secret codes actually works, and was described by Wired magazine as “”the book the National Security Agency wanted never to be published.””

“”I’m proud to have been invited to several ACLU events around the nation, and am especially honored to be included in the ACLU of Hawai’i’s 40th anniversary celebration,”” said Schneier. “”It is my hope that my speech and my writings will stimulate meaningful conversations about the interlocking interests of security and constitutional rights in Hawai’i and throughout the nation.””

The honorees are Robert M. Rees, the law firm of Davis Levin Livingston Grande, and “”Auntie”” Gail Gomard. Rees will receive the ACLU of Hawai’i’s highest honor, the Allan F. Saunders Civil Libertarian Award, for lifetime achievement in furthering civil liberties in Hawai’i. Attorneys Mark S. Davis, Stanley E. Levin, Michael K. Livingston and Thomas R. Grande will jointly receive the Harriet Bouslog Loio Ku Kahi Award for exceptional legal contributions. “”Auntie”” Gail Gomard will be presented the Pila Whitmarsh Aloha Award for meritorious volunteer service.

“”Protecting fundamental freedoms in Hawai’i for 40 years is a milestone for both the ACLU and the community,”” said Chong. “”Individual rights in Hawai’i are more secure because of the work of countless individuals whom we consider pioneers. Enforcement of basic rights would be meaningless without our clients, the ACLU cooperating attorneys who represent them, and the volunteers and financial contributors who support the ACLU’s mission.””

Over its four-decade history, the ACLU of Hawai’I has secured the rights of a wide range of individuals including:

· the First Amendment rights of former prosecutor Charles Marsland, former Mayor Frank Fasi and a minister who wanted to read from the Bible on Waikiki sidewalks;

· enlisted military women prohibited from jobs on Navy ships;

· men racially profiled after a series of sexual assaults on a military base;

· university faculty whose mail from abroad was intercepted by the government;

· a police officer harassed for bringing alleged wrongdoing to public attention; and

· a mother who sought the right to select her child’s surname.

The mission of the Hawai’i affiliate of the ACLU is to protect the civil liberties contained in the state and federal constitutions through litigation, legislative and public education programs statewide. The ACLU is funded primarily through private donations and offers its services at no cost to the public. The ACLU does not accept any government funds.

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