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MARCH 17, 2003
8:45 AM
CONTACT:  Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago
Nisan Chavkin, 312-663-9057 ext. 206

Survey on Torture, Surveillance, and Total Information Awareness Posted for Policy Summit
CHICAGO - March 17 - With the capture of Al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, discussion has intensified around a once academic question: Should the United States use torture to obtain information from suspects about future terrorist attacks? Americans of all ages can now address this question and other pressing issues through an on-line survey conducted as part of the 2003 Illinois Youth Summit.

The survey, located at, highlights questions on the use of torture, increased surveillance powers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Defense Department's Total Information Awareness program. Participants also can compare their answers to the overall results which will be updated daily until mid-April. In addition, the Summit web site includes a full curriculum as well as other useful materials, resources, and links for understanding these questions.

All three issues were selected in December by representatives of more than 1,300 students from 21 high schools participating in the Illinois Youth Summit. Following a semester of study, discussion, and activity, nearly 200 student delegates will represent their peers at a culminating Summit on May 1. The event will be held 9-2:15 in Room 2525 of the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago.

Now in its ninth year, the Summit is an annual program of study and service coordinated each spring by the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, a non-profit, non-partisan organization. The theme for the 2003 Summit is "Safety and Freedom After September 11."

On May 1, the students will meet with policymakers to discuss these issues in person and through a live video-teleconference with officials in Washington. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Northwestern University Professor Douglas Cassel, and Heritage Foundation policy expert Michael Scardaville are among the confirmed policymakers who will participate.

Non-profit and non-partisan, CRFC has supported elementary and secondary schools in their fundamental task of educating students for constructive participation in our democratic society since 1974. In addition to the Youth Summit, CRFC serves K-12 students and teachers through initiatives in Chicago, throughout Illinois, and across the United States, and sponsors democracy education partnerships between classes in Illinois and other parts of the world.

Funding for the 2003 Illinois Youth Summit is provided in part by the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority and the McCormick Tribune Foundation. The views and statements expressed on the Summit web site do not necessarily reflect those of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, the McCormick Tribune Foundation, or any other supporters of the 2003 Illinois Youth Summit.


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