Archive for the ‘Edward Snowden’ Category

Edward Snowden Interview – NBC News

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NBC Chief White House Correspondent and Political director Chuck Todd breaks down new polling conducted before and after Brian Williams exclusive interview with Edward Snowden and whether or not Snowdens appearance changed any minds.

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An excerpt from former NSA contractor Edward Snowdens exclusive interview with Brian Williams.

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Edward Snowden Interview – NBC News

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October 19, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

On the trail of Edward Snowden – variety.com

From the Kennedy Assassination to Edward Snowden, Edward Jay Epstein has built a career out of challenging the conventional wisdom. The author of several seminal works of investigative journalism is the subject of an arresting new documentary, Hall of Mirrors, which premiered at the New York Film Festival this month. It is looking for distribution. The film marks the directing debut of sisters Ena and Ines Talakic, and serves as both a retrospective of Epsteins fascinating career and a memorial to a type of reporting that has largely fallen out of favor in an era of clickbait headlines.

Hes just someone who asks basic questions and gets full access to the most incredible people, said Ines Talakic. He takes his time and he digs deep.

Thats been a hallmark of Epsteins career. As an undergraduate at Cornell he managed to speak to nearly every member of the Warren Commission save for Chief Justice Earl Warren. His resulting book, 1966s Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth, pulled back the curtain on a shoddy investigation into Lee Harvey Oswalds motives and methods at a time when the consensus view was the government has left no stone unturned. A long line of Kennedy conspiracy theories can be traced back to the questions Inquest raised.

I like learning, said Epstein. I spend years investigating something and over that time you really become an expert.

Armed with a deep-seeded curiosity, Epstein spent the rest of his career tackling thorny subjects. He wrote one of the early works of media criticism, News From Nowhere, after spending four months in the newsroom of NBC, and an additional two months in those of CBS and ABC. Later works such as The Rise and Fall of Diamonds, a look at the cartels behind the precious gems, and Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer, a biography of the monomaniacal and ethically shady chairman of the Occidental Petroleum Company, were also deeply researched.

But its not just unscrupulous moguls and political conspiracies. Epstein has also written lucidly about Hollywood. Hes had a particular fascination and fluidity with the movie business economic underpinnings and colorful accounting project. Perhaps it was an earlier failed attempt to produce a film version of the Illiad that interested him in Tinseltown. The 81-year old writers next project will look at digital disruption and its impact on the film industry.

The Talakic sisters met Epstein at a party hosted by Nouriel Roubini, the noted economist, and eventually convinced the writer that he would be a good subject for a documentary. They then spent more than four years getting an up close and personal look at Epsteins methods and archives.

Ed is fascinating because you realize that he is really a part of history through all of his investigations, said Ena Talakic. We found it interesting that someone who just asks basic questions can end up getting full access to people and can convince them to talk to him.

Over the course of the film, the Talakic sisters follow Epstein as he heads to Hawaii, Hong Kong, and Russia, re-tracing the route that Snowden took as he decided to reveal the inner workings of Americas intelligence gathering operation, and later was forced to seek asylum from Vladimir Putin.

To prove his point that Snowden might have been a spy, Epstein tracked down former neighbors, co-workers, and members of the KGB. The book that emerged from the months of reporting, How America Lost Its Secrets, elicited some heated criticism, particularly from journalists such as Glenn Grenwald and Barton Gellman, who broke the initial Snowden pieces.

How America Lost Its Secrets debuted in January of 2017. Epstein wonders if the book and its claims about Russias designs on Snowden wouldnt have been more warmly received if it came out a few months later, when Russia was a hot topic. After all, the Kremlin is in the headlines for trying to manipulate the U.S. presidential election, and Putins ambitions to influence Western politics have become clearer.

Its hard to pretend now that it didnt matter that Snowden went to Russia, said Epstein. The view of Russia at the time was benign. Now its demonic.

Hall of Mirrors is very much a celebration of a life well lived and a body of investigative work that has helped shape popular perceptions of government, culture, and commerce. Theres something sad about it, however. Its a reminder that the kind of reporting that Epstein does research intensive, meticulous, and wide ranging is fading. The journalism that is replacing it looks flimsy by comparison.

There are fewer and fewer outlets for investigative reporting, said Ines Talakic. Most people arent able to spend the same type of time. People are under so much pressure to rush stories.

Epsteins career and writings are a reminder that great reporting shouldnt be rushed. It takes time to discover the truth.

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On the trail of Edward Snowden – variety.com

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October 17, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

New York Film Festival Sets Documentary Lineup – Deadline

The New York Film Festival has unveiled the roster of its Spotlight on Documentary section for this years fest, which runs September 28-October 15. Filmmakers in the lineup include Alex Gibney, Abel Ferrara and Nancy Buirski, with subjects ranging from Joan Didion and Jane Goodall to Arthur Miller and U.S. immigration to the global refugee crisis.

Two of the docus premiering the lineup the Griffin Dunne-directed Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold and the Gay Talese-centered Voyeur have been set up at Netflix and will bow later this year.

The 55th annual festival run by the Film Society of Lincoln Center opens this year with Richard Linklaters Last Flag Flying and closes with Woody Allens Wonder Wheel. Todd Haynes Wonderstruck has a gala slot.

Heres the full Spotlight on Documentary lineup:

Arthur Miller: Writer Dir. Rebecca Miller, USA, 2017, 98m Rebecca Millers film is a portrait of her father, his times and insights, built around impromptu interviews shot over many years in the family home. This celebration of the great American playwright is quite different from what the public has ever seen. It is a close consideration of a singular life shadowed by the tragedies of the Red Scare and the death of Marilyn Monroe; a bracing look at success and failure in the public eye; an honest accounting of human frailty; a tribute to one artist by another. Arthur Miller: Writer invites you to see how one of Americas sharpest social commentators formed his ideologies, how his life reflected his work, and, even in some small part, shaped the culture of our country in the twentieth century. An HBO Documentary Films release.

BOOM FOR REAL: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat Dir. Sara Driver, USA, 2017, 79m U.S. Premiere Sara Drivers documentary is both a celebration of and elegy for the downtown New York art/music/film/performance world of the late 1970s and early 80s, through which Jean-Michel Basquiat shot like a rocket. Weaving Basquiats life and artistic progress in and out of her rich, living tapestry of this endlessly cross-fertilizing scene, Driver has created an urgent recollection of freedom and the aesthetic of poverty. Graffiti meets gestural painting, hip hop infects rock and roll and visa versa, heroin comes and never quite goes, night swallows day, and everybody looms as large as they feel like looming on the crumbling streets of the Lower East Side.

Cielo Dir. Alison McAlpine, Canada/Chile, 2017, 74m World Premiere The first feature from Alison McAlpine, director of the beautiful 2008 nonfiction ghost story short Second Sight, is a dialogue with the heavensin this case, the heavens above the Andes and the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, where the sky is more urgent than the land. McAlpine keeps the vast galaxies above and beyond in a delicate balance with the earthbound world of people, gently alighting on the desert- and mountain-dwelling astronomers, fishermen, miners, and cowboys who live their lives with reverence and awe for the skies. Cielo itself is an act of reverence and awe, and its sense of wonder ranges from the intimate and human to the vast and inhuman.

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? Dir. Travis Wilkerson, USA, 2017, 90m How is it that some people escape the racism and misogyny in which they are raised, and some cling to it as their reason to exist? For 20 years, Travis Wilkerson has been making films that interrogate the malevolent effects of capitalism on the American Dream. Here he turns his sights on his own family and the small town of Dothan, Alabama, where his white supremacist great-great grandfather S.E. Branch once shot and killed Bill Spann, an African-American man. Branch was arrested but never charged with the crime. The life of his victim has been all but obliterated from memory and public record. This isnt a white savior story. This is a white nightmare story, says the filmmaker, who refuses to let himself or anyone else off the hook.

El mar la mar Dir. Joshua Bonnetta & J.P. Sniadecki, USA, 2017, 94m The first collaboration between film and sound artist Bonnetta and filmmaker/anthropologist Sniadecki (The Iron Ministry, NYFF52) is a lyrical and highly topical film in which the Sonoran Desert, among the deadliest routes taken by those crossing from Mexico to the United States, is depicted a place of dramatic beauty and merciless danger. Haunting 16mm images of the unforgiving landscape and the human traces within it are supplemented with an intricate soundtrack of interwoven sounds and oral testimonies. Urgent yet never didactic, El mar la mar allows this symbolically fraught terrain to take shape in vivid sensory detail, and in so doing, suggests new possibilities for the political documentary. A Cinema Guild release.

Filmworker Dir. Tony Zierra, USA, 2017, 94m Leon Vitali was a name in English television and movies when Stanley Kubrick cast him as Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon, but after his acclaimed performance the young actor surrendered his career in the spotlight to become Kubricks loyal right-hand man. For the next two decades, Vitali was Kubricks factotum, never not on call, for whom no task was too small. Along the way, Vitalis personal life suffered, he drifted from his children, and his health deteriorated as he gave everything to his work. Filmworker is of obvious interest to anyone who cares about Kubrick, but it is also a fascinating portrait of awe-inspired devotion burning all the way down to the wick.

Hall of Mirrors Dir. Ena Talakic and Ines Talakic, USA, 2017, 87m World Premiere In this lively documentary portrait, the great nonpartisan investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein, still going strong at 81, takes us through his most notable articles and books, including close looks at the findings of the Warren Commission, the structure of the diamond industry, the strange career of Armand Hammer, and the inner workings of big-time journalism itself. These are interwoven with an in-progress investigation into the circumstances around Edward Snowdens 2013 leak of classified documents, resulting in Epsteins recently published, controversial book How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft. One of the last of his generation of journalists, the energetic, articulate, and boyish Epstein is a truly fascinating character.

Jane Dir. Brett Morgen, USA, 2017, 90m U.S. Premiere In 1960, Dr. Louis Leakey arranged for a young English woman with a deep love of animals to go to Gombe Stream National Park near Lake Tangyanika. The Dutch photographer and filmmaker Hugo van Lawick was sent to document Jane Goodalls first establishment of contact with the chimpanzee population, resulting in the enormously popular Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees, the second film ever produced by National Geographic. One hundred hours of Lawicks original footage was rediscovered in 2014. From that material, Brett Morgen (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) has created a vibrant film experience, giving new life to the experiences of this remarkable woman and the wild in which she found a home. A National Geographic Documentary Films release.

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold Dir. Griffin Dunne, USA, 2017, 92m World Premiere Griffin Dunnes years-in-the-making documentary portrait of his aunt Joan Didion moves with the spirit of her uncannily lucid writing: the film simultaneously expands and zeroes in, covering a vast stretch of turbulent cultural history with elegance and candor, and grounded in the illuminating presence and words of Didion herself. This is most certainly a film about lossthe loss of a solid American center, the personal losses of a husband and a childbut Didion describes everything she sees and experiences so attentively, so fully, and so bravely that she transforms the very worst of life into occasions for understanding. A Netflix release.

No Stone Unturned Dir. Alex Gibney, Northern Ireland/USA, 2017, 111m World Premiere Investigative documentary filmmaker Alex Gibneybest known for 2008s Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and at least a dozen othersturns his sights on the 1994 Loughinisland massacre, a cold case that remains an open wound in the Irish peace process. The families of the victimswho were murdered while watching the World Cup in their local pubwere promised justice, but 20 years later they still didnt know who killed their loved ones. Gibney uncovers a web of secrecy, lies, and corruption that so often results when the powerful insist they are acting for the greater good.

Piazza Vittorio Dir. Abel Ferrara, Italy/USA 2017, 69m North American Premiere Abel Ferraras new documentary is a vivid mosaic/portrait of Romes biggest public square, Piazza Vittorio, built in the 19th century around the ruins of the 3rd century Trofei di Mario. The Piazza is now truly a crossroad of the modern world: it offers a perfect microcosm of the changes in the west brought by immigration and forced displacement. Ferrara, now a resident of Rome himself, talks with African musicians and restaurant workers, Chinese barkeeps and relocated eastern Europeans, homeless men and women, artists, members of the right wing movement CasaPound Italia, filmmaker Matteo Garrone, actor Willem Dafoe, and others, all with varying opinions about the vast changes theyre seeing in their neighborhood and world.

The Rape of Recy Taylor Dir. Nancy Buirski, USA, 2017, 90m North American Premiere On the night of September 3, 1944, a young African-American mother from Abbeville, Alabama, named Recy Taylor was walking home from church with two friends when she was abducted by seven white men, driven away and dragged into the woods, raped by six of the men, and left to make her way home. Against formidable odds and endless threats to her life andthe lives of her family members, Taylor bravely spoke up and pressed charges. Nancy Buirskis passionate documentary shines a light on a case that became a turning point in the early Civil Rights Movement, and on the many formidable womenincluding Rosa Parkswho brought the movement to life.

Sea Sorrow Dir. Vanessa Redgrave, UK, 2017, 72m Vanessa Redgraves debut as a documentary filmmaker is a plea for a compassionate western response to the refugee crisis and a condemnation of the vitriolic inhumanity of current right wing and conservative politicians. Redgrave juxtaposes our horrifying present of inadequate refugee quotas and humanitarian disasters (like last years clearing of the Calais migrant camp) with the refugee crises of WWII and its aftermath, recalled with archival footage, contemporary news reports and personal testimonyincluding an interview with the eloquent Labor politician Lord Dubs, who was one of the children rescued by the Kindertransport. Sea Sorrow reaches further back in time to Shakespeare, not only for its title but also to further remind us that we are once more repeating the history that we have yet to learn.

A Skin So Soft Denis Ct, Canada/Switzerland/France, 2017, 94m U.S. Premiere Studiously observing the world of male bodybuilding, Denis Cts A Skin So Soft (Ta peau si lisse) crafts a multifaceted portrait of six latter-day Adonises through the lens of their everyday lives: extreme diets, training regimens, family relationships, and friendships within the community. Capturing the physical brawn and emotional complexity of its subjects with wit and tenderness, this companion piece to Cotes singular animal study Bestiaire (2012) is a self-reflexive rumination on the long tradition of filming the human body that also advances a fascinating perspective on contemporary masculinity.

Speak Up Dir. Stphane de Freitas, co-directed by Ladj Ly, France, 2017, 99m North American Premiere Each year at the University of Saint-Denis in the suburbs of Paris, the Eloquentia competition takes place to determine the best orator in the class. Speak Up ( voix haute La Force de la Parole) follows the students, who come from a variety of family backgrounds and academic disciplines, as they prepare for the competition while coached by public-speaking professionals like lawyers and slam poets. Through the subtle and intriguing mechanics of rhetoric, these young people both reveal and discover themselves, and it is impossible not to be moved by the personal stories that surface in their verbal jousts, from the death of a Syrian nightingale to a fathers Chuck Norrisinspired approach to his battle with cancer. Without sentimentality, Speak Up proves how the art of speech is key to universal understanding, social ascension, and personal revelation.

The Venerable W. Dir. Barbet Schroeder, France/Switzerland, 2017, 100m The Islamophobic Burmese monk known as The Venerable Wirathu has led hundreds of thousands of his Buddhist followers in a hate-fueled, violent campaign of ethnic cleansing, in which the countrys tiny minority of Muslims were driven from their homes and businesses and penned in refugee camps on the Myanmar border. Barbet Schroders portrait of this man again proves, along with his General Idi Amin Dada (1974) and Terrors Advocate (2007), that the director is a brilliant interviewer, allowing power-hungry fascists to damn themselves with their own testimony. His confrontation with Wirathua figure whose existence contradicts the popular belief that Buddhism is the most peaceful and tolerant major religionis revelatory and horrifying. A release from Les Films du Losange.

Preceded by: What Are You Up to, Barbet Schroeder? (2017, 13m), in which the director traces the path that led him to Myanmar, a center of Theravada Buddhism, where racial hatred was mutating into genocide.

Voyeur Myles Kane and Josh Koury, USA, 2017, 96m World Premiere Gerald Foos bought a motel in Colorado in the 1960s, furnished the room with louvered vents that allowed him to spy on his guests, and kept a journal of their sexual encountersamong other things. As writer Gay Talese, who had known Foos for more than three decades, came close to the publication of his book The Voyeurs Motel (preceded by an excerpt in The New Yorker), factual discrepancies in Fooss account emerged, and documentarians Kane and Koury were on hand to record some wild encounters between the veteran New York journalist and his enigmatic subject. A Netflix release.

Three Music Films by Mathieu Amalric Cest presque au bout du monde (France, 2015, 16m) Zorn (2010-2017) (France, 2017, 54m) Music Is Music (France, 2017, 21m) These three movies from Mathieu Amalric are musicals, from the inside out: they move with the mental and physical energies of John Zorn, the wildly prolific and protean composer/performer/bandleader/record label founder/club owner and all-around grand spirit of New York downtown music; and via the great Canadian-born soprano/conductor/champion of modern classical music Barbara Hannigan. Amalrics Zorn film began as a European TV commission that was quickly abandoned in favor of something more intimate: an ongoing dialogue between two friends that will always be a work-in-progress. The two shorter pieces that bracket the Zorn feature Hannigan nurturing music into being with breath, sound, and spirit. Taken together, the three films make for one thrilling, intimate musical-gestural-cinematic ride.

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New York Film Festival Sets Documentary Lineup – Deadline

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Librem 13 laptop review: physical security for the paranoid – The Verge

Every time I’ve used a Linux computer at least, a Linux computer that’s not hidden behind the sheen of Chrome or Android it’s been the exact same story: nothing ever works right the first time. So I was both excited and a little scared when I was offered a Librem 13 laptop from Purism. The $1,399 ($1,537 as tested) Librem 13 runs PureOS out of the box, Purism’s security-focused version of Linux. That means all the initial hurdles of getting Linux running on a system were solved for me. I wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not my Wi-Fi chipset was supported, or installing the right graphics drivers. All I have to do is just use the dang thing.

So, how did it turn out? Not great.

The Librem 13 is a minimalistic-looking laptop with a slightly old Core i5 6200U Skylake processor; a cheap keyboard; a low-quality, 13.3-inch, 1080p matte screen; and a bad multitouch touchpad. On the plus side, the shell is completely void of branding, and you can actually open up the computer to swap RAM and storage, with support for both SATA and NVMe M.2 drives, and regular 2.5-inch drives. This customizability is rare in this MacBook Air-ish form factor, and I really appreciate it.

The biggest standout about the Librem 13’s hardware are two physical switches on the hinge, one to disable the webcam and microphone, and another to disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These hardware “kill switches” are a privacy nut’s dream. Think of Edward Snowden’s famous request for reporters to put their devices in a fridge to block radio signals, or Mark Zuckerberg’s placement of tape on his webcam.

The laptop also runs on the Coreboot firmware, instead of the Intel Management Engine, which is another big plus to security.

I’ll be honest with you: it’s all probably overkill for me. Good or bad, I just don’t worry very much about privacy and security outside of good password hygiene. But I can totally imagine someone in a more sensitive line of work than me, or a few more things to be paranoid about, buying this laptop specifically for these reasons.

It’s only in recent years that touchpads on Windows computers have become tolerable to me. The Librem 13’s touchpad is not tolerable. Outside of the fact that the surface is less pleasing to use than the glass of my MacBook’s touchpad, cursor movement actually feels laggy when I’m using the touchpad, and I don’t know whether the hardware or software is to blame. I don’t love the keyboard, either. It feels soft and imprecise to me, but this is more of a taste issue and I’ve definitely gotten better on it over time. Also, one time the L key stopped working and I had to reboot to get it back. Not sure who to blame there.

The bigger problem is Linux. Out of the box, the Debian-based OS looks great, and I find it very intuitive and user-friendly. It’s running a fairly clean install of Gnome 3 for a GUI, and I’m a fan. You can hit the “Purism Key” (a rebadged Windows key) to pull up the Activities Overview, where you can access a dock, switch between windows and desktops, and if you start typing you can search among available apps on the system, which is my preferred method of launching apps, akin to using Spotlight on a Mac.

But while PureOS includes a GUI App Store of sorts, called “Software,” I ended up installing most of the applications I actually care about through the command line. I’m pretty comfortable with “sudo apt-get install” at this point, but using dpkg to install a .deb file and then using apt-get to install its dependencies (I’m 94 percent sure that’s what I’m doing, at least) is not exactly what I’d call “user friendly.”

At this point I have most of my must-have apps on this computer. Simplenote, Visual Studio Code, Chromium, and Slack. I tried and failed to install Spotify, so I’m just listening to music in the browser. My system is perfectly configured at this point for me to do my actual job of writing for the internet, my hobbies of JavaScript and Rust development, and my actual full-time occupation of watching YouTube videos and Twitch streams. I installed the Unity game engine after half an hour of command line toil, so I can’t even say I’m missing out on that. The big thing Linux lacks for me is access to Adobe Premiere and After Effects, but nobody is perfect.

No! Okay, so I’m pleased with how relatively easy it is to use a preinstalled Linux system compared to installing it myself. But Linux is still a chore compared to Windows and Mac, and basically requires a familiarity with the command line to do anything interesting. Also, a lot of what I’m doing on this thing would work just as well or better on ChromeOS.

But also I’m just too frustrated by this hardware. The battery life is fine, but not great. Sometimes the computer doesnt sleep when I close it, so then it dies. The matte black design looked great for five seconds before it was covered in my sweaty fingerprints. And. This. Touchpad. Is. Driving. Me. Bonkers. For instance, the default configuration is for a two-finger click to emulate a middle click, which by convention on Linux is mapped to copy and paste. And I can’t figure it out how to fix it. And for some reason moving the mouse with my index finger and clicking with my thumb counts as a two-finger click. And I hate it. But I’m almost done with the review so I’m not going to dig deep into some .conf file to solve the problem. I get to walk away.

Oh, and at the office I keep getting pop-over notifications about different network printers being discovered, which I cant figure out how to turn off without disabling all notifications. So thats fun.

If you care deeply about the ethical and privacy stance that this hardware and software combination represents, I must admit that your options are limited, and that this laptop may very well be your best option.

But for everyone else, this computer is not nearly worth the $1,399 plus price tag. If Linux is that important to you, there’s much nicer hardware available for a much lower price. If Linux isn’t a big draw, then I have no idea why you’d consider this over a Surface Laptop or a MacBook.

And before you ask: yes, I do feel like a bad person for saying mean things about this computer. To me, Linux represents everything that’s worth rooting for in the technology world, a free and open source operating system that’s not tied to serving the interests of a specific corporation. And the open hardware movement has an opportunity to make safer, more customizable, and more bespoke computers than big companies can be bothered to build. I want to live in a world where I can buy a good computer that I enjoy without having to give AppleGoogleMicrosoft my money or all my personal data. This Librem 13 feels like the Early Access version of that future, and apparently I can’t be bothered to deal with the trade-offs. Which makes me part of the problem, and I’m sorry for that.

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Librem 13 laptop review: physical security for the paranoid – The Verge

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden Will Make an Appearance at the Free Library – Philadelphia magazine

Virtually, at least.

Edward Snowden is (kind of) coming the Free Library next month.

The whistleblower and former CIA employee will appear via live closed-circuit video link which is sort of like a high-security version of Skype or FaceTime. Hell remain somewhere in Russia, where hes sought asylum since 2013, the yearhe was charged with espionage forleaking classified National Security Agency information.

The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 11th. Snowden will speak with investigative journalistJeremy Scahill, co-founder of online news journal The Intercept,who will appear in person.

According to the event description, Snowden and Scahill will discuss the surveillance state and whistleblowers in a one-of-a-kind interview.

Tickets for the librarys auditorium cost $35. Those interested in watching alive broadcastof the event in a separate room at the library can get tickets for $15.

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Edward Snowden Will Make an Appearance at the Free Library – Philadelphia magazine

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

is upset the media says he lives in a basement – TNW

As the founder and director of an organization dedicated to unmasking the shady actions of governments and public officials, Wikileaks Julian Assange seems to be unusually preoccupied with insignificant shit like getting a fake verified badge on Twitter or offering tipshow to stare at the eclipse.

In a similar vein, earlier today Assange took to Twitter to vent his frustrations about the tropes so-called journalists have been spreading about him. What he notably took offence with were the cretinous claims that his asylum abode in the Ecuadorian embassy in London was actually a basement or a cupboard.

Following a brief Google lookup, Assange discovered that, in addition to the 420,000 pages painting his London residence as a basement or a cupboard, there were approximately 62,000 instances describing his bedroom as the ladies toilet and equating his stay at the embassy to an act of hiding.

Unhappy with the descriptions, the Wikileaks editor-in-chief wanted to set the record straight:

He then went on to ruminate over what could be the reason behind this unprofessionalism. This is when he cracked the code: Imagining me stuffed in a cupboard soothes the pain.

For those confused, Assange was hinting that, similarly to the way the media clowns Putin for his short stature and Trump for his tiny hands, journalists tend to undermine his (illusions of) grandeur by portraying him in positions of weakness.

Another factor that appeared to back up this truth was the fact that the cupboard snowflakes of journalists routinely resort to avoiding mentions of his impressive height (62); you know, in an effort to reduce the psychological threat his omnipotent online presence poses to them.

I mean, you tell me which title is more threatening: WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Denies Rape in Detailed Account of Encounter or WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, 62, Denies Rape in Detailed Account of Encounter. Ill let you decide for yourself.

As some Twitter users have already pointed out to Assange, limiting the search criteria to news pages reduces all basement-associated mentions of his name from 260,000 to less than 10,000. But no, its all the medias fault.

In her latest documentary Risk, filmmaker Laura Poitras known for her documentary on Edward Snowden,Citizenfour depicted Assange in a constant state of troubled calmness. His moods fluctuated from enthusiastic, to miffed, to pensive, to absolutely paranoid and vice versa.

But what was particularly striking, was the unadorned way in which Poitras portrayed how even his closest trustees were gradually starting to doubt whether he is still fit to steer the ship. The worst part was that Assange appeared to be blissfully ignoring their lack of faith or perhaps he never even noticed it.

The Wikileaks leader has spent the last five years of his life holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy without any clear prospects to leave.

While he might deny this description, Assange is practically an inmate in the embassy. And when you posses ego and ambition as big as his, being stuck in a box for so long could start playing tricks on your mind.

Researchers have long been exploring the impact prolonged confinement to enclosed spaces has on the human psyche. Among other things, inmates eventually exhibit signs of diminished impulse control, hypersensitivity to external stimuli and intense paranoia.

And it seems that akin to prisoners, Assange, who by the way stands 62 tall, has been locked up in the basement for far too long and he desperately needs more space to shake off the jitters.

Read next: 6 Innovative Tech Startups Set On Improving Athletic Performance

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is upset the media says he lives in a basement – TNW

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden is coming to the Free Library of Philadelphia (virtually) – Technical.ly

The main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, will host a conversation between former National Security Administration contractor Edward Snowden andThe Intercept cofounder and investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill on Monday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

After being charged with espionage and granted asylum in Russia, Snowden currently lives in an undisclosed location. Snowden will appear via closed-circuit video link, but Scahill will be in the flesh.

The two will discuss the state of the surveillance state and what it means for whistleblowers in Trumps America and beyond.

Tickets go on sale onlineTuesday, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. Auditorium tickets cost $35. The library expects the event to sell out. Additionally, you can watch a live broadcast of the event in a separate room at the Parkway Central branch for $15.

Danielle Corcione is a freelance writer with bylines in Teen Vogue, Esquire, Vice, and more. They also run a blog, The Millennial Freelancer, and a newsletter called Rejected Pitches.

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Edward Snowden is coming to the Free Library of Philadelphia (virtually) – Technical.ly

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Target Finding for the Empire: The Pine Gap Joint Defense Facility, America’s Spy Hub in the Heart of Australia – Center for Research on Globalization

The tasking we get at Pine Gap is look for this particular signal coming out of this particular location. If you find it, report it, and if you find anything else of interest, report that as well. David Rosenberg, former NSA Team leader, weapons analysis at Pine Gap, Aug 20, 2017

At times, there is a lag between the anticipation and the revelation, the assumption that an image might be as gruesome, or perhaps enlightening, as was first assumed. Nothing in the latest Edward Snowden show suggests anything revelatory. They knew it, as did we: that the US military satellite base spat on a bit of Australian dust in a part of the earth that would not make Mars seem out of place, is highly engaged.

Radio Nationals Background Briefing made something of a splash on Sunday, with some assistance from the Edward Snowden National Security Agency trove.[1] The documents do much in terms of filling in assumptions on the geolocating role of the facility, much of which had already had some measure of plausibility through the work of Richard Tanter and the late Des Ball.

As Tanter puts it,

Those documents provide authoritative confirmation that Pine Gap is involved, for example, in the geolocation of cell phones used by people throughout the world, from the Pacific to the edge of Africa.[2]

NSA Intelligence Relationship with Australia, by way of example, discloses the NSA term for the Pine Gap facility, ironically termed RAINFALL. Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap (RAINFALL) [is] a site which plays a significant role in supporting both intelligence activities and military operations.

Another document supplies some detail as to the role of the facility, confirming that it does beyond the mundane task of merely collecting signals. It also does the dirty work analysing them.

RAINFALL detects, collects, records, processes, analyses and reports on PROFORMA [data on surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft artillery and fighter aircraft] signals collected from tasked target entities.

Pine Gap has always generated a gaping accountability gap of its own, and these Snowden treats affirm the point. Rather than being an entity accountable to the queries and concerns of the local indigenous population; rather than supplying the local members of parliament from the Senate and the lower house briefings about its activities, Pine Gap is hived off from usual channels, a reminder about how truly inconsequential democracy is in the Canberra-Washington alliance.

Pine Gap has always had its platoons of unflinching apologists, and a common theme, apart from the worn notion that the US security umbrella prevails with fortitude, is that the base is genuinely good. In a Central Intelligence Agencys National Intelligence Daily (Feb 13, 1987), the agency notes with approval the forthcoming Australian Defence white paper indicating strong support or US-Australian joint defence facilities.[3]

The publication would dispel any wobbliness on Australian military commitments, a point alluded to by the then minister for defence, Kim Beazley. A further point was to note the defensive nature of the facilities, opposition to those leftwing groups to the contrary.

So what if Australians in the Northern Territory are ignorant that the communications facility pinpoints targets for drone strikes? We can be assured that these are legitimate, vetted and, when struck, obliterated with fastidious care.

Much of this dressed up bunk is based on the notion, sacrosanct as it is, that drone strikes work. They certain do on a few levels in galvanising more recruits and liquidating more civilians. Like any military weapon, the hygienic notion of the engineered kill, the surgical operation on the battlefield, is fantasy. If the target so happens to be embedded in an urban setting, one filled with non-combatants, the moral calculus becomes less easy to measure.[4]

The other through-the-glass-darkly feature of the Pine Gap facility lies not only in its geolocation means, but its value as a target. Having such conspicuous yet inscrutable tenants places Australia in harms way, a loud invitation to assault.

The CIA was already cognisant of this point in 1987, identifying awareness on the part of Australian defence officials that the joint facilities would be attacked in a US-Soviet nuclear exchange but argues that removal of the US presence would increase the likelihood of superpower conflict.[5] The end of the Cold War does little to dispel the significance of Pine Gap as a target of considerable interest.

Where to, then? A firm insistence, for one, that Australia detach itself from the tit of empire, the bosom of Washingtons military industrial complex. This requires something virtually outlawed in Canberra: courage. It has fallen upon such delightfully committed if motley outfits as the Independent and Peaceful Australian Network (IPAN), an organisation of calm determination committed to seeing Australia as something more than the grand real estate for empire.

With each disclosure, with each revelation about Australias all too willing complicity in facilitating strikes against foreign targets, many in countries Australians would barely know, the will to change may be piqued. They most certainly will once Australian officials face their first war crimes charges over the use of drones, aiding and abetting their US counterparts in the whole damn awful enterprise.[6]

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [emailprotected]

Notes

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Target Finding for the Empire: The Pine Gap Joint Defense Facility, America’s Spy Hub in the Heart of Australia – Center for Research on Globalization

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Oliver Stone To Lead Jury At The Busan International Film Festival – Deadline

Oliver Stone has been announced as the head of the jury at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival. The Academy Award-winning director will lead four jurors for the New Currents, a competitive section in Asias largest film festival, thatintroduces the worksof up-and-coming Asian directors.

Joining Stone on the jury will be world-famous director Bahman Ghobadi (No One Knows About Persian Cats) from Iran, renowned French cinematographer Agns Godard (Bright Sunshine In), a multi-artist and an ideological father of the New Philippine CinemaLav Diaz (The Woman Who Left), and Jang Sun-woo (A Petal,Lies), a leader of New Wave in Korean films.

Stone has become an outspoken voice in Hollywood specifically when it comes to American culture, politics, and military. His most recent filmSnowdenfollowed the controversy and life surroundingAmerican whistleblower Edward Snowden and his 2008 filmW.was a satirical view on former U.S. President George W. Bush. American capitalism was the focus of the iconic 1987 filmWall Streetwhile his other films likeBorn on the Fourth of JulyandPlatoonexamined modern history with critical insight and significant cultural impact. He also is no stranger to South Korea, having participated inlocal anti-militarism protests in 2013.

The Busan International Film Festival has been having its fair share of trouble in the past year.In October 2016, BIFF came under fire when organizers were ordered by Busan government chiefs to cancel a screening ofThe Truth Shall Not Sink, a documentary which criticized the governments failed rescue measures at the 2014 Seoul ferry disaster. This resulted in local filmmakers boycotting the event. Former fest head Lee Yong-Kwan was a big supporter of screening the film at the fest, which then resulted in his ousting from the event. Soon after,BIFF founder Kim Dong-Ho and fest director Kang Soo-Youn announced that they would also be leaving after this years edition.

As a prominent and globally influential voice of historical events and political issues, BIFF hopes Stones attendance as chief juror will draw more attention to the winners of New Currents. The festival is set to run October 12-21.

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Oliver Stone To Lead Jury At The Busan International Film Festival – Deadline

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden Interview – NBC News

Video NBC Chief White House Correspondent and Political director Chuck Todd breaks down new polling conducted before and after Brian Williams exclusive interview with Edward Snowden and whether or not Snowdens appearance changed any minds. Video An excerpt from former NSA contractor Edward Snowdens exclusive interview with Brian Williams.

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October 19, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

On the trail of Edward Snowden – variety.com

From the Kennedy Assassination to Edward Snowden, Edward Jay Epstein has built a career out of challenging the conventional wisdom. The author of several seminal works of investigative journalism is the subject of an arresting new documentary, Hall of Mirrors, which premiered at the New York Film Festival this month. It is looking for distribution. The film marks the directing debut of sisters Ena and Ines Talakic, and serves as both a retrospective of Epsteins fascinating career and a memorial to a type of reporting that has largely fallen out of favor in an era of clickbait headlines. Hes just someone who asks basic questions and gets full access to the most incredible people, said Ines Talakic. He takes his time and he digs deep. Thats been a hallmark of Epsteins career. As an undergraduate at Cornell he managed to speak to nearly every member of the Warren Commission save for Chief Justice Earl Warren. His resulting book, 1966s Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth, pulled back the curtain on a shoddy investigation into Lee Harvey Oswalds motives and methods at a time when the consensus view was the government has left no stone unturned. A long line of Kennedy conspiracy theories can be traced back to the questions Inquest raised. I like learning, said Epstein. I spend years investigating something and over that time you really become an expert. Armed with a deep-seeded curiosity, Epstein spent the rest of his career tackling thorny subjects. He wrote one of the early works of media criticism, News From Nowhere, after spending four months in the newsroom of NBC, and an additional two months in those of CBS and ABC. Later works such as The Rise and Fall of Diamonds, a look at the cartels behind the precious gems, and Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer, a biography of the monomaniacal and ethically shady chairman of the Occidental Petroleum Company, were also deeply researched. But its not just unscrupulous moguls and political conspiracies. Epstein has also written lucidly about Hollywood. Hes had a particular fascination and fluidity with the movie business economic underpinnings and colorful accounting project. Perhaps it was an earlier failed attempt to produce a film version of the Illiad that interested him in Tinseltown. The 81-year old writers next project will look at digital disruption and its impact on the film industry. The Talakic sisters met Epstein at a party hosted by Nouriel Roubini, the noted economist, and eventually convinced the writer that he would be a good subject for a documentary. They then spent more than four years getting an up close and personal look at Epsteins methods and archives. Ed is fascinating because you realize that he is really a part of history through all of his investigations, said Ena Talakic. We found it interesting that someone who just asks basic questions can end up getting full access to people and can convince them to talk to him. Over the course of the film, the Talakic sisters follow Epstein as he heads to Hawaii, Hong Kong, and Russia, re-tracing the route that Snowden took as he decided to reveal the inner workings of Americas intelligence gathering operation, and later was forced to seek asylum from Vladimir Putin. To prove his point that Snowden might have been a spy, Epstein tracked down former neighbors, co-workers, and members of the KGB. The book that emerged from the months of reporting, How America Lost Its Secrets, elicited some heated criticism, particularly from journalists such as Glenn Grenwald and Barton Gellman, who broke the initial Snowden pieces. How America Lost Its Secrets debuted in January of 2017. Epstein wonders if the book and its claims about Russias designs on Snowden wouldnt have been more warmly received if it came out a few months later, when Russia was a hot topic. After all, the Kremlin is in the headlines for trying to manipulate the U.S. presidential election, and Putins ambitions to influence Western politics have become clearer. Its hard to pretend now that it didnt matter that Snowden went to Russia, said Epstein. The view of Russia at the time was benign. Now its demonic. Hall of Mirrors is very much a celebration of a life well lived and a body of investigative work that has helped shape popular perceptions of government, culture, and commerce. Theres something sad about it, however. Its a reminder that the kind of reporting that Epstein does research intensive, meticulous, and wide ranging is fading. The journalism that is replacing it looks flimsy by comparison. There are fewer and fewer outlets for investigative reporting, said Ines Talakic. Most people arent able to spend the same type of time. People are under so much pressure to rush stories. Epsteins career and writings are a reminder that great reporting shouldnt be rushed. It takes time to discover the truth.

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October 17, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

New York Film Festival Sets Documentary Lineup – Deadline

The New York Film Festival has unveiled the roster of its Spotlight on Documentary section for this years fest, which runs September 28-October 15. Filmmakers in the lineup include Alex Gibney, Abel Ferrara and Nancy Buirski, with subjects ranging from Joan Didion and Jane Goodall to Arthur Miller and U.S. immigration to the global refugee crisis. Two of the docus premiering the lineup the Griffin Dunne-directed Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold and the Gay Talese-centered Voyeur have been set up at Netflix and will bow later this year. The 55th annual festival run by the Film Society of Lincoln Center opens this year with Richard Linklaters Last Flag Flying and closes with Woody Allens Wonder Wheel. Todd Haynes Wonderstruck has a gala slot. Heres the full Spotlight on Documentary lineup: Arthur Miller: Writer Dir. Rebecca Miller, USA, 2017, 98m Rebecca Millers film is a portrait of her father, his times and insights, built around impromptu interviews shot over many years in the family home. This celebration of the great American playwright is quite different from what the public has ever seen. It is a close consideration of a singular life shadowed by the tragedies of the Red Scare and the death of Marilyn Monroe; a bracing look at success and failure in the public eye; an honest accounting of human frailty; a tribute to one artist by another. Arthur Miller: Writer invites you to see how one of Americas sharpest social commentators formed his ideologies, how his life reflected his work, and, even in some small part, shaped the culture of our country in the twentieth century. An HBO Documentary Films release. BOOM FOR REAL: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat Dir. Sara Driver, USA, 2017, 79m U.S. Premiere Sara Drivers documentary is both a celebration of and elegy for the downtown New York art/music/film/performance world of the late 1970s and early 80s, through which Jean-Michel Basquiat shot like a rocket. Weaving Basquiats life and artistic progress in and out of her rich, living tapestry of this endlessly cross-fertilizing scene, Driver has created an urgent recollection of freedom and the aesthetic of poverty. Graffiti meets gestural painting, hip hop infects rock and roll and visa versa, heroin comes and never quite goes, night swallows day, and everybody looms as large as they feel like looming on the crumbling streets of the Lower East Side. Cielo Dir. Alison McAlpine, Canada/Chile, 2017, 74m World Premiere The first feature from Alison McAlpine, director of the beautiful 2008 nonfiction ghost story short Second Sight, is a dialogue with the heavensin this case, the heavens above the Andes and the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, where the sky is more urgent than the land. McAlpine keeps the vast galaxies above and beyond in a delicate balance with the earthbound world of people, gently alighting on the desert- and mountain-dwelling astronomers, fishermen, miners, and cowboys who live their lives with reverence and awe for the skies. Cielo itself is an act of reverence and awe, and its sense of wonder ranges from the intimate and human to the vast and inhuman. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? Dir. Travis Wilkerson, USA, 2017, 90m How is it that some people escape the racism and misogyny in which they are raised, and some cling to it as their reason to exist? For 20 years, Travis Wilkerson has been making films that interrogate the malevolent effects of capitalism on the American Dream. Here he turns his sights on his own family and the small town of Dothan, Alabama, where his white supremacist great-great grandfather S.E. Branch once shot and killed Bill Spann, an African-American man. Branch was arrested but never charged with the crime. The life of his victim has been all but obliterated from memory and public record. This isnt a white savior story. This is a white nightmare story, says the filmmaker, who refuses to let himself or anyone else off the hook. El mar la mar Dir. Joshua Bonnetta & J.P. Sniadecki, USA, 2017, 94m The first collaboration between film and sound artist Bonnetta and filmmaker/anthropologist Sniadecki (The Iron Ministry, NYFF52) is a lyrical and highly topical film in which the Sonoran Desert, among the deadliest routes taken by those crossing from Mexico to the United States, is depicted a place of dramatic beauty and merciless danger. Haunting 16mm images of the unforgiving landscape and the human traces within it are supplemented with an intricate soundtrack of interwoven sounds and oral testimonies. Urgent yet never didactic, El mar la mar allows this symbolically fraught terrain to take shape in vivid sensory detail, and in so doing, suggests new possibilities for the political documentary. A Cinema Guild release. Filmworker Dir. Tony Zierra, USA, 2017, 94m Leon Vitali was a name in English television and movies when Stanley Kubrick cast him as Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon, but after his acclaimed performance the young actor surrendered his career in the spotlight to become Kubricks loyal right-hand man. For the next two decades, Vitali was Kubricks factotum, never not on call, for whom no task was too small. Along the way, Vitalis personal life suffered, he drifted from his children, and his health deteriorated as he gave everything to his work. Filmworker is of obvious interest to anyone who cares about Kubrick, but it is also a fascinating portrait of awe-inspired devotion burning all the way down to the wick. Hall of Mirrors Dir. Ena Talakic and Ines Talakic, USA, 2017, 87m World Premiere In this lively documentary portrait, the great nonpartisan investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein, still going strong at 81, takes us through his most notable articles and books, including close looks at the findings of the Warren Commission, the structure of the diamond industry, the strange career of Armand Hammer, and the inner workings of big-time journalism itself. These are interwoven with an in-progress investigation into the circumstances around Edward Snowdens 2013 leak of classified documents, resulting in Epsteins recently published, controversial book How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft. One of the last of his generation of journalists, the energetic, articulate, and boyish Epstein is a truly fascinating character. Jane Dir. Brett Morgen, USA, 2017, 90m U.S. Premiere In 1960, Dr. Louis Leakey arranged for a young English woman with a deep love of animals to go to Gombe Stream National Park near Lake Tangyanika. The Dutch photographer and filmmaker Hugo van Lawick was sent to document Jane Goodalls first establishment of contact with the chimpanzee population, resulting in the enormously popular Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees, the second film ever produced by National Geographic. One hundred hours of Lawicks original footage was rediscovered in 2014. From that material, Brett Morgen (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) has created a vibrant film experience, giving new life to the experiences of this remarkable woman and the wild in which she found a home. A National Geographic Documentary Films release. Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold Dir. Griffin Dunne, USA, 2017, 92m World Premiere Griffin Dunnes years-in-the-making documentary portrait of his aunt Joan Didion moves with the spirit of her uncannily lucid writing: the film simultaneously expands and zeroes in, covering a vast stretch of turbulent cultural history with elegance and candor, and grounded in the illuminating presence and words of Didion herself. This is most certainly a film about lossthe loss of a solid American center, the personal losses of a husband and a childbut Didion describes everything she sees and experiences so attentively, so fully, and so bravely that she transforms the very worst of life into occasions for understanding. A Netflix release. No Stone Unturned Dir. Alex Gibney, Northern Ireland/USA, 2017, 111m World Premiere Investigative documentary filmmaker Alex Gibneybest known for 2008s Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and at least a dozen othersturns his sights on the 1994 Loughinisland massacre, a cold case that remains an open wound in the Irish peace process. The families of the victimswho were murdered while watching the World Cup in their local pubwere promised justice, but 20 years later they still didnt know who killed their loved ones. Gibney uncovers a web of secrecy, lies, and corruption that so often results when the powerful insist they are acting for the greater good. Piazza Vittorio Dir. Abel Ferrara, Italy/USA 2017, 69m North American Premiere Abel Ferraras new documentary is a vivid mosaic/portrait of Romes biggest public square, Piazza Vittorio, built in the 19th century around the ruins of the 3rd century Trofei di Mario. The Piazza is now truly a crossroad of the modern world: it offers a perfect microcosm of the changes in the west brought by immigration and forced displacement. Ferrara, now a resident of Rome himself, talks with African musicians and restaurant workers, Chinese barkeeps and relocated eastern Europeans, homeless men and women, artists, members of the right wing movement CasaPound Italia, filmmaker Matteo Garrone, actor Willem Dafoe, and others, all with varying opinions about the vast changes theyre seeing in their neighborhood and world. The Rape of Recy Taylor Dir. Nancy Buirski, USA, 2017, 90m North American Premiere On the night of September 3, 1944, a young African-American mother from Abbeville, Alabama, named Recy Taylor was walking home from church with two friends when she was abducted by seven white men, driven away and dragged into the woods, raped by six of the men, and left to make her way home. Against formidable odds and endless threats to her life andthe lives of her family members, Taylor bravely spoke up and pressed charges. Nancy Buirskis passionate documentary shines a light on a case that became a turning point in the early Civil Rights Movement, and on the many formidable womenincluding Rosa Parkswho brought the movement to life. Sea Sorrow Dir. Vanessa Redgrave, UK, 2017, 72m Vanessa Redgraves debut as a documentary filmmaker is a plea for a compassionate western response to the refugee crisis and a condemnation of the vitriolic inhumanity of current right wing and conservative politicians. Redgrave juxtaposes our horrifying present of inadequate refugee quotas and humanitarian disasters (like last years clearing of the Calais migrant camp) with the refugee crises of WWII and its aftermath, recalled with archival footage, contemporary news reports and personal testimonyincluding an interview with the eloquent Labor politician Lord Dubs, who was one of the children rescued by the Kindertransport. Sea Sorrow reaches further back in time to Shakespeare, not only for its title but also to further remind us that we are once more repeating the history that we have yet to learn. A Skin So Soft Denis Ct, Canada/Switzerland/France, 2017, 94m U.S. Premiere Studiously observing the world of male bodybuilding, Denis Cts A Skin So Soft (Ta peau si lisse) crafts a multifaceted portrait of six latter-day Adonises through the lens of their everyday lives: extreme diets, training regimens, family relationships, and friendships within the community. Capturing the physical brawn and emotional complexity of its subjects with wit and tenderness, this companion piece to Cotes singular animal study Bestiaire (2012) is a self-reflexive rumination on the long tradition of filming the human body that also advances a fascinating perspective on contemporary masculinity. Speak Up Dir. Stphane de Freitas, co-directed by Ladj Ly, France, 2017, 99m North American Premiere Each year at the University of Saint-Denis in the suburbs of Paris, the Eloquentia competition takes place to determine the best orator in the class. Speak Up ( voix haute La Force de la Parole) follows the students, who come from a variety of family backgrounds and academic disciplines, as they prepare for the competition while coached by public-speaking professionals like lawyers and slam poets. Through the subtle and intriguing mechanics of rhetoric, these young people both reveal and discover themselves, and it is impossible not to be moved by the personal stories that surface in their verbal jousts, from the death of a Syrian nightingale to a fathers Chuck Norrisinspired approach to his battle with cancer. Without sentimentality, Speak Up proves how the art of speech is key to universal understanding, social ascension, and personal revelation. The Venerable W. Dir. Barbet Schroeder, France/Switzerland, 2017, 100m The Islamophobic Burmese monk known as The Venerable Wirathu has led hundreds of thousands of his Buddhist followers in a hate-fueled, violent campaign of ethnic cleansing, in which the countrys tiny minority of Muslims were driven from their homes and businesses and penned in refugee camps on the Myanmar border. Barbet Schroders portrait of this man again proves, along with his General Idi Amin Dada (1974) and Terrors Advocate (2007), that the director is a brilliant interviewer, allowing power-hungry fascists to damn themselves with their own testimony. His confrontation with Wirathua figure whose existence contradicts the popular belief that Buddhism is the most peaceful and tolerant major religionis revelatory and horrifying. A release from Les Films du Losange. Preceded by: What Are You Up to, Barbet Schroeder? (2017, 13m), in which the director traces the path that led him to Myanmar, a center of Theravada Buddhism, where racial hatred was mutating into genocide. Voyeur Myles Kane and Josh Koury, USA, 2017, 96m World Premiere Gerald Foos bought a motel in Colorado in the 1960s, furnished the room with louvered vents that allowed him to spy on his guests, and kept a journal of their sexual encountersamong other things. As writer Gay Talese, who had known Foos for more than three decades, came close to the publication of his book The Voyeurs Motel (preceded by an excerpt in The New Yorker), factual discrepancies in Fooss account emerged, and documentarians Kane and Koury were on hand to record some wild encounters between the veteran New York journalist and his enigmatic subject. A Netflix release. Three Music Films by Mathieu Amalric Cest presque au bout du monde (France, 2015, 16m) Zorn (2010-2017) (France, 2017, 54m) Music Is Music (France, 2017, 21m) These three movies from Mathieu Amalric are musicals, from the inside out: they move with the mental and physical energies of John Zorn, the wildly prolific and protean composer/performer/bandleader/record label founder/club owner and all-around grand spirit of New York downtown music; and via the great Canadian-born soprano/conductor/champion of modern classical music Barbara Hannigan. Amalrics Zorn film began as a European TV commission that was quickly abandoned in favor of something more intimate: an ongoing dialogue between two friends that will always be a work-in-progress. The two shorter pieces that bracket the Zorn feature Hannigan nurturing music into being with breath, sound, and spirit. Taken together, the three films make for one thrilling, intimate musical-gestural-cinematic ride.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Librem 13 laptop review: physical security for the paranoid – The Verge

Every time I’ve used a Linux computer at least, a Linux computer that’s not hidden behind the sheen of Chrome or Android it’s been the exact same story: nothing ever works right the first time. So I was both excited and a little scared when I was offered a Librem 13 laptop from Purism. The $1,399 ($1,537 as tested) Librem 13 runs PureOS out of the box, Purism’s security-focused version of Linux. That means all the initial hurdles of getting Linux running on a system were solved for me. I wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not my Wi-Fi chipset was supported, or installing the right graphics drivers. All I have to do is just use the dang thing. So, how did it turn out? Not great. The Librem 13 is a minimalistic-looking laptop with a slightly old Core i5 6200U Skylake processor; a cheap keyboard; a low-quality, 13.3-inch, 1080p matte screen; and a bad multitouch touchpad. On the plus side, the shell is completely void of branding, and you can actually open up the computer to swap RAM and storage, with support for both SATA and NVMe M.2 drives, and regular 2.5-inch drives. This customizability is rare in this MacBook Air-ish form factor, and I really appreciate it. The biggest standout about the Librem 13’s hardware are two physical switches on the hinge, one to disable the webcam and microphone, and another to disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These hardware “kill switches” are a privacy nut’s dream. Think of Edward Snowden’s famous request for reporters to put their devices in a fridge to block radio signals, or Mark Zuckerberg’s placement of tape on his webcam. The laptop also runs on the Coreboot firmware, instead of the Intel Management Engine, which is another big plus to security. I’ll be honest with you: it’s all probably overkill for me. Good or bad, I just don’t worry very much about privacy and security outside of good password hygiene. But I can totally imagine someone in a more sensitive line of work than me, or a few more things to be paranoid about, buying this laptop specifically for these reasons. It’s only in recent years that touchpads on Windows computers have become tolerable to me. The Librem 13’s touchpad is not tolerable. Outside of the fact that the surface is less pleasing to use than the glass of my MacBook’s touchpad, cursor movement actually feels laggy when I’m using the touchpad, and I don’t know whether the hardware or software is to blame. I don’t love the keyboard, either. It feels soft and imprecise to me, but this is more of a taste issue and I’ve definitely gotten better on it over time. Also, one time the L key stopped working and I had to reboot to get it back. Not sure who to blame there. The bigger problem is Linux. Out of the box, the Debian-based OS looks great, and I find it very intuitive and user-friendly. It’s running a fairly clean install of Gnome 3 for a GUI, and I’m a fan. You can hit the “Purism Key” (a rebadged Windows key) to pull up the Activities Overview, where you can access a dock, switch between windows and desktops, and if you start typing you can search among available apps on the system, which is my preferred method of launching apps, akin to using Spotlight on a Mac. But while PureOS includes a GUI App Store of sorts, called “Software,” I ended up installing most of the applications I actually care about through the command line. I’m pretty comfortable with “sudo apt-get install” at this point, but using dpkg to install a .deb file and then using apt-get to install its dependencies (I’m 94 percent sure that’s what I’m doing, at least) is not exactly what I’d call “user friendly.” At this point I have most of my must-have apps on this computer. Simplenote, Visual Studio Code, Chromium, and Slack. I tried and failed to install Spotify, so I’m just listening to music in the browser. My system is perfectly configured at this point for me to do my actual job of writing for the internet, my hobbies of JavaScript and Rust development, and my actual full-time occupation of watching YouTube videos and Twitch streams. I installed the Unity game engine after half an hour of command line toil, so I can’t even say I’m missing out on that. The big thing Linux lacks for me is access to Adobe Premiere and After Effects, but nobody is perfect. No! Okay, so I’m pleased with how relatively easy it is to use a preinstalled Linux system compared to installing it myself. But Linux is still a chore compared to Windows and Mac, and basically requires a familiarity with the command line to do anything interesting. Also, a lot of what I’m doing on this thing would work just as well or better on ChromeOS. But also I’m just too frustrated by this hardware. The battery life is fine, but not great. Sometimes the computer doesnt sleep when I close it, so then it dies. The matte black design looked great for five seconds before it was covered in my sweaty fingerprints. And. This. Touchpad. Is. Driving. Me. Bonkers. For instance, the default configuration is for a two-finger click to emulate a middle click, which by convention on Linux is mapped to copy and paste. And I can’t figure it out how to fix it. And for some reason moving the mouse with my index finger and clicking with my thumb counts as a two-finger click. And I hate it. But I’m almost done with the review so I’m not going to dig deep into some .conf file to solve the problem. I get to walk away. Oh, and at the office I keep getting pop-over notifications about different network printers being discovered, which I cant figure out how to turn off without disabling all notifications. So thats fun. If you care deeply about the ethical and privacy stance that this hardware and software combination represents, I must admit that your options are limited, and that this laptop may very well be your best option. But for everyone else, this computer is not nearly worth the $1,399 plus price tag. If Linux is that important to you, there’s much nicer hardware available for a much lower price. If Linux isn’t a big draw, then I have no idea why you’d consider this over a Surface Laptop or a MacBook. And before you ask: yes, I do feel like a bad person for saying mean things about this computer. To me, Linux represents everything that’s worth rooting for in the technology world, a free and open source operating system that’s not tied to serving the interests of a specific corporation. And the open hardware movement has an opportunity to make safer, more customizable, and more bespoke computers than big companies can be bothered to build. I want to live in a world where I can buy a good computer that I enjoy without having to give AppleGoogleMicrosoft my money or all my personal data. This Librem 13 feels like the Early Access version of that future, and apparently I can’t be bothered to deal with the trade-offs. Which makes me part of the problem, and I’m sorry for that.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden Will Make an Appearance at the Free Library – Philadelphia magazine

Virtually, at least. Edward Snowden is (kind of) coming the Free Library next month. The whistleblower and former CIA employee will appear via live closed-circuit video link which is sort of like a high-security version of Skype or FaceTime. Hell remain somewhere in Russia, where hes sought asylum since 2013, the yearhe was charged with espionage forleaking classified National Security Agency information. The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 11th. Snowden will speak with investigative journalistJeremy Scahill, co-founder of online news journal The Intercept,who will appear in person. According to the event description, Snowden and Scahill will discuss the surveillance state and whistleblowers in a one-of-a-kind interview. Tickets for the librarys auditorium cost $35. Those interested in watching alive broadcastof the event in a separate room at the library can get tickets for $15. Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter. Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

is upset the media says he lives in a basement – TNW

As the founder and director of an organization dedicated to unmasking the shady actions of governments and public officials, Wikileaks Julian Assange seems to be unusually preoccupied with insignificant shit like getting a fake verified badge on Twitter or offering tipshow to stare at the eclipse. In a similar vein, earlier today Assange took to Twitter to vent his frustrations about the tropes so-called journalists have been spreading about him. What he notably took offence with were the cretinous claims that his asylum abode in the Ecuadorian embassy in London was actually a basement or a cupboard. Following a brief Google lookup, Assange discovered that, in addition to the 420,000 pages painting his London residence as a basement or a cupboard, there were approximately 62,000 instances describing his bedroom as the ladies toilet and equating his stay at the embassy to an act of hiding. Unhappy with the descriptions, the Wikileaks editor-in-chief wanted to set the record straight: He then went on to ruminate over what could be the reason behind this unprofessionalism. This is when he cracked the code: Imagining me stuffed in a cupboard soothes the pain. For those confused, Assange was hinting that, similarly to the way the media clowns Putin for his short stature and Trump for his tiny hands, journalists tend to undermine his (illusions of) grandeur by portraying him in positions of weakness. Another factor that appeared to back up this truth was the fact that the cupboard snowflakes of journalists routinely resort to avoiding mentions of his impressive height (62); you know, in an effort to reduce the psychological threat his omnipotent online presence poses to them. I mean, you tell me which title is more threatening: WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Denies Rape in Detailed Account of Encounter or WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, 62, Denies Rape in Detailed Account of Encounter. Ill let you decide for yourself. As some Twitter users have already pointed out to Assange, limiting the search criteria to news pages reduces all basement-associated mentions of his name from 260,000 to less than 10,000. But no, its all the medias fault. In her latest documentary Risk, filmmaker Laura Poitras known for her documentary on Edward Snowden,Citizenfour depicted Assange in a constant state of troubled calmness. His moods fluctuated from enthusiastic, to miffed, to pensive, to absolutely paranoid and vice versa. But what was particularly striking, was the unadorned way in which Poitras portrayed how even his closest trustees were gradually starting to doubt whether he is still fit to steer the ship. The worst part was that Assange appeared to be blissfully ignoring their lack of faith or perhaps he never even noticed it. The Wikileaks leader has spent the last five years of his life holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy without any clear prospects to leave. While he might deny this description, Assange is practically an inmate in the embassy. And when you posses ego and ambition as big as his, being stuck in a box for so long could start playing tricks on your mind. Researchers have long been exploring the impact prolonged confinement to enclosed spaces has on the human psyche. Among other things, inmates eventually exhibit signs of diminished impulse control, hypersensitivity to external stimuli and intense paranoia. And it seems that akin to prisoners, Assange, who by the way stands 62 tall, has been locked up in the basement for far too long and he desperately needs more space to shake off the jitters. Read next: 6 Innovative Tech Startups Set On Improving Athletic Performance

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden is coming to the Free Library of Philadelphia (virtually) – Technical.ly

The main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, will host a conversation between former National Security Administration contractor Edward Snowden andThe Intercept cofounder and investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill on Monday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. After being charged with espionage and granted asylum in Russia, Snowden currently lives in an undisclosed location. Snowden will appear via closed-circuit video link, but Scahill will be in the flesh. The two will discuss the state of the surveillance state and what it means for whistleblowers in Trumps America and beyond. Tickets go on sale onlineTuesday, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. Auditorium tickets cost $35. The library expects the event to sell out. Additionally, you can watch a live broadcast of the event in a separate room at the Parkway Central branch for $15. Danielle Corcione is a freelance writer with bylines in Teen Vogue, Esquire, Vice, and more. They also run a blog, The Millennial Freelancer, and a newsletter called Rejected Pitches.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Target Finding for the Empire: The Pine Gap Joint Defense Facility, America’s Spy Hub in the Heart of Australia – Center for Research on Globalization

The tasking we get at Pine Gap is look for this particular signal coming out of this particular location. If you find it, report it, and if you find anything else of interest, report that as well. David Rosenberg, former NSA Team leader, weapons analysis at Pine Gap, Aug 20, 2017 At times, there is a lag between the anticipation and the revelation, the assumption that an image might be as gruesome, or perhaps enlightening, as was first assumed. Nothing in the latest Edward Snowden show suggests anything revelatory. They knew it, as did we: that the US military satellite base spat on a bit of Australian dust in a part of the earth that would not make Mars seem out of place, is highly engaged. Radio Nationals Background Briefing made something of a splash on Sunday, with some assistance from the Edward Snowden National Security Agency trove.[1] The documents do much in terms of filling in assumptions on the geolocating role of the facility, much of which had already had some measure of plausibility through the work of Richard Tanter and the late Des Ball. As Tanter puts it, Those documents provide authoritative confirmation that Pine Gap is involved, for example, in the geolocation of cell phones used by people throughout the world, from the Pacific to the edge of Africa.[2] NSA Intelligence Relationship with Australia, by way of example, discloses the NSA term for the Pine Gap facility, ironically termed RAINFALL. Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap (RAINFALL) [is] a site which plays a significant role in supporting both intelligence activities and military operations. Another document supplies some detail as to the role of the facility, confirming that it does beyond the mundane task of merely collecting signals. It also does the dirty work analysing them. RAINFALL detects, collects, records, processes, analyses and reports on PROFORMA [data on surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft artillery and fighter aircraft] signals collected from tasked target entities. Pine Gap has always generated a gaping accountability gap of its own, and these Snowden treats affirm the point. Rather than being an entity accountable to the queries and concerns of the local indigenous population; rather than supplying the local members of parliament from the Senate and the lower house briefings about its activities, Pine Gap is hived off from usual channels, a reminder about how truly inconsequential democracy is in the Canberra-Washington alliance. Pine Gap has always had its platoons of unflinching apologists, and a common theme, apart from the worn notion that the US security umbrella prevails with fortitude, is that the base is genuinely good. In a Central Intelligence Agencys National Intelligence Daily (Feb 13, 1987), the agency notes with approval the forthcoming Australian Defence white paper indicating strong support or US-Australian joint defence facilities.[3] The publication would dispel any wobbliness on Australian military commitments, a point alluded to by the then minister for defence, Kim Beazley. A further point was to note the defensive nature of the facilities, opposition to those leftwing groups to the contrary. So what if Australians in the Northern Territory are ignorant that the communications facility pinpoints targets for drone strikes? We can be assured that these are legitimate, vetted and, when struck, obliterated with fastidious care. Much of this dressed up bunk is based on the notion, sacrosanct as it is, that drone strikes work. They certain do on a few levels in galvanising more recruits and liquidating more civilians. Like any military weapon, the hygienic notion of the engineered kill, the surgical operation on the battlefield, is fantasy. If the target so happens to be embedded in an urban setting, one filled with non-combatants, the moral calculus becomes less easy to measure.[4] The other through-the-glass-darkly feature of the Pine Gap facility lies not only in its geolocation means, but its value as a target. Having such conspicuous yet inscrutable tenants places Australia in harms way, a loud invitation to assault. The CIA was already cognisant of this point in 1987, identifying awareness on the part of Australian defence officials that the joint facilities would be attacked in a US-Soviet nuclear exchange but argues that removal of the US presence would increase the likelihood of superpower conflict.[5] The end of the Cold War does little to dispel the significance of Pine Gap as a target of considerable interest. Where to, then? A firm insistence, for one, that Australia detach itself from the tit of empire, the bosom of Washingtons military industrial complex. This requires something virtually outlawed in Canberra: courage. It has fallen upon such delightfully committed if motley outfits as the Independent and Peaceful Australian Network (IPAN), an organisation of calm determination committed to seeing Australia as something more than the grand real estate for empire. With each disclosure, with each revelation about Australias all too willing complicity in facilitating strikes against foreign targets, many in countries Australians would barely know, the will to change may be piqued. They most certainly will once Australian officials face their first war crimes charges over the use of drones, aiding and abetting their US counterparts in the whole damn awful enterprise.[6] Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [emailprotected] Notes

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Oliver Stone To Lead Jury At The Busan International Film Festival – Deadline

Oliver Stone has been announced as the head of the jury at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival. The Academy Award-winning director will lead four jurors for the New Currents, a competitive section in Asias largest film festival, thatintroduces the worksof up-and-coming Asian directors. Joining Stone on the jury will be world-famous director Bahman Ghobadi (No One Knows About Persian Cats) from Iran, renowned French cinematographer Agns Godard (Bright Sunshine In), a multi-artist and an ideological father of the New Philippine CinemaLav Diaz (The Woman Who Left), and Jang Sun-woo (A Petal,Lies), a leader of New Wave in Korean films. Stone has become an outspoken voice in Hollywood specifically when it comes to American culture, politics, and military. His most recent filmSnowdenfollowed the controversy and life surroundingAmerican whistleblower Edward Snowden and his 2008 filmW.was a satirical view on former U.S. President George W. Bush. American capitalism was the focus of the iconic 1987 filmWall Streetwhile his other films likeBorn on the Fourth of JulyandPlatoonexamined modern history with critical insight and significant cultural impact. He also is no stranger to South Korea, having participated inlocal anti-militarism protests in 2013. The Busan International Film Festival has been having its fair share of trouble in the past year.In October 2016, BIFF came under fire when organizers were ordered by Busan government chiefs to cancel a screening ofThe Truth Shall Not Sink, a documentary which criticized the governments failed rescue measures at the 2014 Seoul ferry disaster. This resulted in local filmmakers boycotting the event. Former fest head Lee Yong-Kwan was a big supporter of screening the film at the fest, which then resulted in his ousting from the event. Soon after,BIFF founder Kim Dong-Ho and fest director Kang Soo-Youn announced that they would also be leaving after this years edition. As a prominent and globally influential voice of historical events and political issues, BIFF hopes Stones attendance as chief juror will draw more attention to the winners of New Currents. The festival is set to run October 12-21.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed


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