Gallery: An Uncertain World

All countries experience threats—real, perceived, or contrived. But how do they respond to these threats? This gallery explores these responses—from interrogation to surveillance. How much protection is enough? How much is too much? The answer can be the difference between citizens living in security or living in an oppressive security state. Explore this uncertain world


Spies & Spycatchers


What happens when intelligence insiders pose a threat to their own countries’ interests? Hear about some of the 20th century’s most notorious traitors: the US’ Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, and John Walker, Britain’s Kim Philby/Cambridge Five, and the Soviet Union’s Adolf Tolkachev. Discover how these men were caught—or not caught.

Confronting Terrorists


Terrorism is not a new threat. Countries around the world have experienced terrorism where we live (the Palmer Raids of the 1920s), work (the 1995 Oklahoma bombing), and play (the 1972 Munich Olympics). Find out how intel agencies have responded to these events and have thwarted other attacks – such as the plot of the Toronto 18.

Berlin: City of Spies


Visitors experience an immersive environment contrasting West and East Berlin during the Cold War. Sneak into East Berlin, discover the tools and techniques of the Stasi in a hotel room (filled with concealment and surveillance devices), an interrogation room (where visitors can assess each other’s lying “tells”), and a Stasi office.

The Spy Next Door


Are there spies living as your neighbors? Discover the story of the Russian Ten—spies who lived covertly, many under assumed identities, in the United States for many years, and how the FBI watched, waited, and finally arrested them as part of Operation Ghost Story.

Spying in the Marketplace


From ancient times to today, governments steal secrets to gain a financial and commercial advantage. This exhibit explores one of the earliest counterintelligence systems in Renaissance Venice, as well as how Western spies stole the secrets of silk, porcelain, and tea from China—centuries before China now leads the field in stealing economic secrets from the West.