What kind of things are secrets? Our modern, national security secrecy system dates to the early days of World War I, as the American government began, with the Espionage and Sedition Acts, to ban utterances and actions that could interfere with the war effort. In (and just after) World War II, that ontology of secrecy expanded dramatically--to include whole domains of science, including the scientific field of nuclear fission chain reactions. Following the attacks of 9/11 that circle gyrated out to include not only scientific fields, but infrastructure (real and virtual), and even certain laws. Over time, this widening spiral encompassed forms of black-out beyond the secrecy system to a vaster, penumbral zone of para-secrecy, raising fundamental questions about information and democracy in the 21st century.
NOTE: PETER GALISON'S FILM, SECRECY, WILL BE SCREENED AT THE IU CINEMA ON MONDAY, APRIL 2, 7 PM