Archive for the ‘Edward Snowden’ Category

Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower – nytimes.com

Seven months ago, the world began to learn the vast scope of the National Security Agencys reach into the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe, as it collects information about their phone calls, their email messages, their friends and contacts, how they spend their days and where they spend their nights. The public learned in great detail how the agency has exceeded its mandate and abused its authority, prompting outrage at kitchen tables and at the desks of Congress, which may finally begin to limit these practices.

The revelations have already prompted two federal judges to accuse the N.S.A. of violating the Constitution (although a third, unfortunately, found the dragnet surveillance to be legal). A panel appointed by President Obama issued a powerful indictment of the agencys invasions of privacy and called for a major overhaul of its operations.

All of this is entirely because of information provided to journalists by Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who stole a trove of highly classified documents after he became disillusioned with the agencys voraciousness. Mr. Snowden is now living in Russia, on the run from American charges of espionage and theft, and he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life looking over his shoulder.

Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.

Mr. Snowden is currently charged in a criminal complaint with two violations of the Espionage Act involving unauthorized communication of classified information, and a charge of theft of government property. Those three charges carry prison sentences of 10 years each, and when the case is presented to a grand jury for indictment, the government is virtually certain to add more charges, probably adding up to a life sentence that Mr. Snowden is understandably trying to avoid.

The president said in August that Mr. Snowden should come home to face those charges in court and suggested that if Mr. Snowden had wanted to avoid criminal charges he could have simply told his superiors about the abuses, acting, in other words, as a whistle-blower.

If the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information that provided whistle-blower protection to the intelligence community for the first time, Mr. Obama said at a news conference. So there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions.

In fact, that executive order did not apply to contractors, only to intelligence employees, rendering its protections useless to Mr. Snowden. More important, Mr. Snowden told The Washington Post earlier this month that he did report his misgivings to two superiors at the agency, showing them the volume of data collected by the N.S.A., and that they took no action. (The N.S.A. says there is no evidence of this.) Thats almost certainly because the agency and its leaders dont consider these collection programs to be an abuse and would never have acted on Mr. Snowdens concerns.

In retrospect, Mr. Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not. Beyond the mass collection of phone and Internet data, consider just a few of the violations he revealed or the legal actions he provoked:

The N.S.A. broke federal privacy laws, or exceeded its authority, thousands of times per year, according to the agencys own internal auditor.

The agency broke into the communications links of major data centers around the world, allowing it to spy on hundreds of millions of user accounts and infuriating the Internet companies that own the centers. Many of those companies are now scrambling to install systems that the N.S.A. cannot yet penetrate.

The N.S.A. systematically undermined the basic encryption systems of the Internet, making it impossible to know if sensitive banking or medical data is truly private, damaging businesses that depended on this trust.

His leaks revealed that James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, lied to Congress when testifying in March that the N.S.A. was not collecting data on millions of Americans. (There has been no discussion of punishment for that lie.)

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rebuked the N.S.A. for repeatedly providing misleading information about its surveillance practices, according to a ruling made public because of the Snowden documents. One of the practices violated the Constitution, according to the chief judge of the court.

A federal district judge ruled earlier this month that the phone-records-collection program probably violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. He called the program almost Orwellian and said there was no evidence that it stopped any imminent act of terror.

The shrill brigade of his critics say Mr. Snowden has done profound damage to intelligence operations of the United States, but none has presented the slightest proof that his disclosures really hurt the nations security. Many of the mass-collection programs Mr. Snowden exposed would work just as well if they were reduced in scope and brought under strict outside oversight, as the presidential panel recommended.

When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government. Thats why Rick Ledgett, who leads the N.S.A.s task force on the Snowden leaks, recently told CBS News that he would consider amnesty if Mr. Snowden would stop any additional leaks. And its why President Obama should tell his aides to begin finding a way to end Mr. Snowdens vilification and give him an incentive to return home.

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Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower – nytimes.com

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October 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, says he’s not safe in Russia …

Edward Snowden has raised concerns regarding his safety in Russia, where the former U.S. intelligence contractor has resided for over five years in the wake of leaking classified National Security Agency documents.

As for the future in Russia and what will happen there, I cant say Im safe. I dont know Mr. Snowden said Thursday during an address telecast to a crowd in Austria.

But the real question is: Does it matter? the NSA leaker added. I didnt come forward to be safe.

Mr. Snowden, 35, had has passport revoked while traveling internationally in June 2013 shortly after revealing himself as the source of recently leaked NSA documents, leaving him stateless and stranded at an airport near Moscow for several weeks prior to ultimately receiving asylum from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He previously worked for the CIA in addition to government contractors Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, including a stint at the latters office in Kunia Camp, Hawaii, prior to being terminated after leaking documents exposing the NSAs surveillance abilities and operations.

If I wanted safety, Id be sitting in Hawaii right now, making a lot of money, spying on everyone, Mr. Snowden said during Thursdays event, organized by University of Innsbruck in Tyrol, Austria.

Mr. Snowdens asylum status is valid through at least 2020, his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said previously. Questions concerning his fate have emerged repeatedly in recent years, however, on account of factors including his criticism of Mr. Putins policies, as well as President Trump, a staunch critic of unauthorized leaks and Mr. Snowden in particular, taking office in 2017.

He previously referred to a surveillance law signed by Mr. Putin in 2016 as an unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights, and his leaks resulted in Mr. Trump previously called him a traitor who should be executed accordingly.

I have criticized them repeatedly, Mr. Snowden said of the Russian government during Thursdays event, and I will continue to do so. But my focus is not going to be on Russia, because Russia is not my home. Russia is my place of exile. The United States will always be my first priority.

We have to fix our own societies first before we try to save the world Mr. Snowden added.

Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, indicated earlier this year that Moscow was disinterested in pursuing any plans to punt Mr. Snowden back to the U.S., where he faces criminal counts of espionage and potentially a lengthy prison sentence.

We respect his rights as an individual, Mr. Lavrov said previously. And thats why we were not able, we were not in the position to expel him against his will because he found himself in Russia even without the U.S. passport.

Mr. Trump, on his part, has expressed a drastically different opinion with respect to Mr. Snowden.

A spy in the old days, when our country was respected and strong, would be executed, Mr. Trump tweeted in 2014.

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Edward Snowden, world’s ‘most wanted fugitive’ to address Israeli panel …

Former NSA analyst Edward Snowden. (photo credit: REUTERS)

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Edward Snowden, the infamous whistleblower who leaked classified NSA information in 2013, will speak via video conference to an Israeli audience at a closed event on November 6, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Snowden will speak on Israel-related issues from his secret hideaway in Russia at an event organized by the Israeli media consultancy firm OH! Orenstein Hoshen.

Though he will not be physically present, due to concerns that he might be handed over to US authorities, he is expected to take questions from the audience. Former deputy chief of the Mossad Ram Ben-Barak will respond to Snowdens remarks.

Hedan Orenstein and Itamar Hoshen said, Our firm is engaged in advising clients in the realm of economics, law, technology and high-tech and these are exactly the fields in which Snowden is involved. Snowden is a fascinating figure because his actions are so controversial. The audience will hear can ask tough questions and people can work out their own opinions.

Snowden was working for a private contractor of the CIA and NSA when he made international headlines by publishing masses of classified information in the biggest and most sensitive leak in the history of intelligence.

The leak unveiled for the first time the existence of post-9/11 powerful and invasive global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA, with the cooperation of European governments and telecommunication companies, including Google, Microsoft and Verizon. Some of the programs were discontinued, while others were continued but with higher levels of regulation.

In February 2015, a classified document leaked by Snowden revealed information about the cooperative intelligence-gathering efforts of the US, UK and Israel against Iranian targets.

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Other previous Snowden documents revealed a number of details of the inner workings of the intelligence relationships between the US and Israel and with the other members of the Five Eyes in general, which also includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand and England.

Those previous leaks, mostly in 2013, related to the NSA eavesdropping on some top Israeli officials and possible Israeli cooperation with the NSA to eavesdrop on other mutual allies of the two countries.

Another revelation indicated that the NSA may have greater authority to check communications with US citizens living in foreign countries, such as Israel, while yet another revealed that the US may sometimes cooperate with Unit 8200 to review metadata on behalf of the NSA that the NSA itself cannot review under US law.

Snowden remains one of the worlds most wanted fugitives. He could face life in prison or even the death penalty if he is ever captured.

He is both vilified as a traitor and revered as the whistle-blower who altered the playing field on the issue, putting the NSA on the defensive.

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Edward Snowden, world’s ‘most wanted fugitive’ to address Israeli panel …

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Snowden | Official Trailer [HD] | Global Road Entertainment

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone, who brought Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street and JFK to the big screen, tackles the most important and fascinating true story of the 21st century. Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year.

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About Global Road Entertainment:Global Road is a preeminent worldwide content studio that develops, finances, produces, acquires, and distributes entertainment content across theatrical, television, digital, and emerging platforms. The company also represents the distribution rights on behalf of third-party films intended for a global audience. Owned by Tang Media Partners, Global Road Entertainment is uniquely positioned to harness its deep resources and experience as a producer, financier, and sales entity to offer the industry and consumer a robust slate of traditional and next generation content.

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Edward Snowden – IMDb

Filmography2017Die Story(TV Series documentary)Himself2016Digits(TV Mini-Series documentary)Himself2016Vice(TV Series documentary)Himself2016/IRisk(Documentary)Himself2016Freenet(Documentary)Edward Snowden2015Nova(TV Series documentary)Himself2015Panorama(TV Series documentary)Himself – Former Contractor for NSA and CIA Edit Personal Details Publicity Listings: 2 Biographical Movies | 2 Print Biographies | 6 Articles | See more

Height:5’11″(1.8m)

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Edward Snowden – IMDb

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Edward Snowden on Malkia Cyril, a multigenerational black …

For its 25th anniversary, Wired Magazine asked numerous luminaries to pick a figure from the digital world to celebrate; Edward Snowden chose EFF Pioneer Award Winner Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice and cofounder of the Media Action Grassroots Network, who is one of the leaders in teaching grassroots activists to resist government surveillance.

Cyril’s mother was a Black Panther leader, subjected to heavy state surveillance (her file, eventually FOIAd from the FBI by Cyril and her sister, ran to 1,422 pages). Informed by this legacy of surveillance and its role in system oppression, Cyril has led the charge to ensure “equal access to technology and communication.”

Snowden describes the connection between his whistleblowing and Cyril’s work, about the role of surveillance in singling out whole populations (notably African Americans and Muslims) as “perpetually guilty.”

Malkias organizations help to safeguard groups like Black Lives Matter against surveillance. Their work is a reminder that if we want to have a sense of how the future may feel for all of us, we need to examine how the past and present have felt for some of us. For most of history, surveillance was costly and resource-intensive, so governments had to be selective in whom they targeted. Today, surveillance is digital, automated, and pervasive, and governments can afford to track and record nearly everyone.

When I first came forward, I warned that the surveillance system the government had created had terrible potential for abuse. In the wrong hands, it offered the opportunity for turnkey tyranny. Nothing that has occurred since has changed that assessment. Much of it has deepened my concern.

This is not science fictionit is happening now, with those on the edge of society knowing all too well what it means to live under the unblinking eye of judgment. Truly understanding their experience may be our last chance to stay free. Malkias radical lesson is about the nature of rights: The best way to protect somebody is to protect everybodyespecially the most vulnerable among us.

Edward Snowden on Protecting Activists Against Surveillance [Edward Snowden/Wired]

(Image: Dignidadrebelde, CC-BY)

Researchers from the University of Toronto’s outstanding Citizen Lab (previously) have published their latest research on the notorious and prolific Israeli cyber-arms-dealer The NSO Group (previously), one of the world’s go-to suppliers for tools used by despots to spy on dissidents and opposition figures, often as a prelude to their imprisonment, torture and murder.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK spy agency GCHQ acted illegally when it engaged in mass-scale domestic surveillance of every Briton’s electronic communications, a programme that was revealed by documents supplied to journalists by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NYPD’s secretive Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center uses software from IBM in its video analytics system, which allows cops to automatically scan surveillance footage for machine-generated labels that identify clothing and other identifying classifiers.

As more companies leverage cloud technology to unite and streamline their operations, the need for capable IT pros increases. But, as any IT guru will tell you, demand alone wont get your foot in the door to this lucrative field. If you want to cash in on the demand and build a thriving IT career, []

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It might still be September, but the holiday season will be here before you know it, which means now is the time to think about where you want to vacation toand what to do once you get there. To this end, weve scoured the Web and tracked down a number of travel hacking ebooks, gadgets, []

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Edward Snowden on Malkia Cyril, a multigenerational black …

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Citizenfour Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Edward Snowden …

Subscribe to TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/sxaw6hSubscribe to COMING SOON: http://bit.ly/H2vZUnSubscribe to INDIE TRAILERS: http://goo.gl/iPUuoLike us on FACEBOOK: http://goo.gl/dHs73Follow us on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/1ghOWmtCitizenfour Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Edward Snowden Documentary HD

CITIZENFOUR is the never before seen, utterly riveting first-person look at how director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald first met with whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong where he gave them documents showing widespread abuses of power by the National Security Administration. It is an unprecedented fly-on-the-wall account of one of the most groundbreaking moments in recent history.

In January 2013, Poitras (recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Genius Fellowship and co-recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service) was several years into making a film about surveillance in the post-9/11 era when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four,” who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes.

Executive Produced by Steven Soderbergh.

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Citizenfour Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Edward Snowden …

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Amazon.com: Citizenfour: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald …

This review is not my opinion of Snowden or the NSA but my thoughts on the quality of the documentary. I am surprised by the dozens of one-word “boring” reviews here. Since CitizenFour is a documentary, I wasn’t expecting a car-chase pace.

Perhaps it is because I immersed myself in an isolated environment with laptop with headphones that I found the slow pacing and long silences to be so tense. The words left unsaid often seemed more sinister than those articulated. And despite Snowden wanting to come forward, I could really begin to feel his terror as the comfort of his anonymity and in-charge interviews gave way to the encroaching “oh crap” moments as he began preparing for the next steps.

The brief scene of him staring out the hotel window was chilling in its simplicity. It reminded me of films where prisoners of war are dragged outside to the firing squad and the prisoner looks up at the sky, knowing it will be the last time. Ever. When the Chinese human rights lawyer said they didn’t have a car, and Snowden made eye contact with the filmmaker, I could almost feel his stomach plummet. I enjoy horror movies, but this quiet documentary really disturbed me.

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Amazon.com: Citizenfour: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald …

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Playing Edward Snowden | The New Yorker

During the three years he has spent in Russian exile, Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. contractor turned whistle-blower, has maintained a surprisingly steady presence in American culture as a kind of virtual trans-border eminence. He appears via Snowbot and video link at conferences, in museums, and in theatres. He delivers lectures at universities and grants interviews to reporters, including, in 2014, a virtual interview with The New Yorkers Jane Mayer. This past July, he turned up at Comic-Con, at a secret screening to promote Snowden, the new film directed by Oliver Stone, which comes out on September 16th. Snowdens digital omnipresence has an ironic quality: hes a ghost in the screen, a disembodied conscience, a spy in the sky. Yet in his most defining appearances to date, Snowdens voice has come to us in mediated form, shaped by the artists and journalists whom he has engaged as collaboratorsand sounding quite different depending on who is in the editing bay.

For the public, the Snowden story began with a short film by the acclaimed documentarian Laura Poitras, which later became the basis for her Academy Award-winning documentary Citizenfour. The footage, shot in a Hong Kong hotel room where Poitras and the Guardian journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill arranged to meet with Snowden, in 2013, showed a pale and unshaven twenty-nine-year-old in rectangular spectacles, explaining eloquently, and with eerie calmness, why he had chosen to reveal the existence of an extensive domestic-surveillance program in the United States, and then to reveal his own identity. He described the system that he helped build as the architecture of oppression, and said that he could not go on living unfreely but comfortably, paid well to spy on unwitting Americans.

The tale, many said, was straight out of a John le Carr novel, especially when Snowden, charged by the United States Department of Justice under the Espionage Act, had his passport revoked en route to Ecuador and spent thirty-nine days in Moscows Sheremetyevo Airport, before being granted temporary asylum in Russia. In his best-selling book No Place to Hide, Greenwald recalls thinking to himself that the Snowden story was a surreal international thriller.

That line must have been a red cape snapping in the faces of Hollywood packagers. Sony secured the rights to Greenwalds book. Stone, on the other hand, optioned Time of the Octopus, a novel by Anatoly Kucherena, the Russian lawyer who negotiated Snowdens asylum, which recounts the adventures of an N.S.A. whistle-blower named Joshua Cold, including his extended stay in Sheremetyevo Airport and his dealings with journalists named Boitras and Greywold. According to a long process piece recently published in the Times Magazine, it was Kucherena who approached Stone, offering access to his client in exchange for the rights to the book, for which a Wikileaks data dump revealed he charged Stone a million dollars. (Stone says that he never intended to use the material.) Turned down by numerous studios, Stone got distribution through Open Road, an independent production company that last year won an Oscar for Spotlight.

Stones Snowden follows the title character, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, from a patriotic impulse to enlist in the Special Forces after 9/11, through a stellar intelligence career and an odd-couple romance with a liberal acrobat and pole-dancer named Lindsay Mills, to his current state of exile. Many scenes re-create Poitrass hotel-room documentary almost to the framein one case, literally, when one side of Snowdens rectangular eyeglasses, jutting past his face, distorts the field of view. (Melissa Leo plays Poitras; Zachary Quinto plays Greenwald; Shailene Woodley plays Mills.) Stone, who is known for his anti-establishment character studies that engage with recent American historyand for conspiracy-theory politicsportrays Snowdens choices as the inevitable actions of a person of conscience. He and his co-writer, Kieran Fitzgerald (grandson of Robert), have named the overreaching spy boss (played by Rhys Ifans in the film) after the zealous Thought Policeman OBrien in 1984.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stone described the film as a close cousin to Born on the Fourth of July, his 1989 movie starring Tom Cruise as Ron Kovic, a paralyzed Vietnam veteran who becomes an antiwar protester. Much like Kovic, Snowden wanted to serve his country, was repelled by what that service entailed, and then found a purer form of patriotism by speaking out against the actions of those in power. As in Born on the Fourth of July, the Snowden character is ennobled by his transformation from insider to outcast; the drama, driven by the heros disgust and disillusionment, centers on his change of sides. In Stones hands, the man who signed his anonymous e-mails to Poitras Citizen is not a character playing ethics chess, as in le Carr, but a hero of apostasyan American archetype as old as the nation itself. When, in the movies final moments, the real Edward Snowden appears, in a gauzy cameo that the Times Magazine reports was shot in Anatoly Kucherenas dacha, we are meant to see him as the ultimate patriot.

Gordon-Levitt, like Snowden, was born in the early eighties. A former child actor, he retains an eager boyishnessnot enigmatic so much as blank-slate. In last years Robert Zemeckis bio-pic The Walk, he portrayed the French high-wire artist Philippe Petit with what Richard Brody characterized as the antic perkiness of a salesman. As Snowden, the actors innate jauntiness is suppressed; hes watchful, grim, and courteous. To prepare for his role, he spent several hours with his subject in Moscow; he found him to be polite and slightly formal, in a Southern way. (Snowden is from North Carolina.) When Stone called him about the part, Gordon-Levitt knew little about Snowden. Since then, he has become an evangelist for Snowdens cause, donating most of his acting fee for the film to the A.C.L.U.the organization for which Snowdens American lawyer, Ben Wizner, worksand embarking on a collaboration between HitRecord,an online collaborative community that he started a decade ago, and the A.C.L.U. to explore the role that technology should play in a democracy.

Not long ago, I went to see Gordon-Levitt at the HitRecord offices, a loftlike space in a suburb of Los Angeles. It was lunchtime, and employees were gathered around a communal table eating takeout. HitRecord brings together half a million animators, editors, writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other content generators, who collaborate on various kinds of projects, some prompted by Gordon-Levitt and his editorial team. (The team also produced an Emmy-winning television show, HitRecord on TV, for the millennial-oriented network Pivot.)

Gordon-Levitt, who was wearing khakis, Pumas, and a T-shirt, led me over to a quiet seating area and eased into an armchair. He said that, when he met with Snowden in Moscow, he discovered that the two have common ground. Like Snowdenwho, according to Vanity Fair, spent his late adolescence onlineGordon-Levitt, a native of the San Fernando Valley, grew up around computers. His dad, who runs a small software business, had a Commodore 64; Gordon-Levitt got his first e-mail address in high school. I dont think I ever thought of computers or the Internet as something that could be leveraged to the detriment of the human race, he told me.

The A.C.L.U. collaboration, which is called Are you there, Democracy? Its me, the Internet (pace Judy Blume), required participants to respond to the prompt Is todays technology good or bad for Democracy? In one video, a Pakistani student, Ayesha, starts her recording by removing a sticker that coversher Webcam. (In Stones film, Snowden castigates Mills for not taking the same precaution.) She describes the first time she voted, in 2013. The polling station was full of people pressuring voters to cast their ballots for a certain candidate; Ayesha and others recorded videos and posted them on the Internet. By recording or sharing our sentiments about what happened in our supposedly awesome democracy, we actually started a conversation about the fairness of the election process, she says.

The notion of using surveillance to create transparency is an inversion of the Snowden narrativebut, then again, so is the contribution that Gordon-Levitt solicited from Snowden himself. In the HitRecord office, an editor was working on the footagea recorded Google Hangout sessionand Snowdens face was talking in front of a green screen. Look, nobodys gonna argue that theres not a lot of places where technology does hurt, he said. There are days when, you know, I think that things are pretty bad. But there are also moments that I see that things could get really good. The recorded Snowden continued, What technology can ultimately provide, if we make sure it works for us rather than against us, is liberty. People are more liberated to be creative. People are more liberated to share. People are more liberated to engage in their democracy.

In a (https://hitrecord.org/projects/2894051/highlights) posted on HitRecords Web site, under the title Snowden Optimistic Project, Gordon-Levitt calls upon animators and illustrators to contribute to the projecthe envisions an enormous collage, with a hand-done feel, that will visually convey the ideas Snowden expresses, through line drawings, paper cut-outs, stop-motion animation. A sample clip made by HitRecord shows an animated drone flying across the screen and dropping a bomb as Snowden says the words places where technology does hurt. At the words mass surveillance, a row of grabby hands rises from bottom of screen, while a boxy surveillance camera swivels like a curious creature searching for morsels. One contributor tackled the next linesThere are days when, you know, I think that things are pretty bad. But there are also moments that I see that things could get really goodwith an animated illustration of dark clouds being swiped away, Apple style, on a smartphone.

Gordon-Levitt, who communicates with Snowden using encrypted video chat, has said that Snowdens sunny outlook surprised him. People think of him as symbolizing the negative sides of technology, he told me. The actor, by contrast, has come to see Snowden as an idealist. I think Snowden has a lot of love for the Internet and what it could and should be, he said. People like him and me and younger identify with it. He believes its spreading connection, collaboration, and compassion. He risked his life for it.

Whereas in Poitrass film Snowden was a pensive philosopher, and in Stones hes a principled patriot, through the lens of Gordon-Levitt and his team Snowden seems on his way to becoming a different sort of cultural icon. He is an indie Internet celebrity, an advocate for the very type of digital community that HitRecord seeks to cultivateupbeat, open, appealing. And in place of the vast and threatening thing he exposed is a vast and comforting faith in what is to come. Gordon-Levitt told me, Socrates wouldnt write anything down. He said, Itll put your mind in a prison. We think of the written word as a positive and liberating technology. I think the same applies to computers. Its just starting! Its starting now.

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Playing Edward Snowden | The New Yorker

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September 10, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower – nytimes.com

Seven months ago, the world began to learn the vast scope of the National Security Agencys reach into the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe, as it collects information about their phone calls, their email messages, their friends and contacts, how they spend their days and where they spend their nights. The public learned in great detail how the agency has exceeded its mandate and abused its authority, prompting outrage at kitchen tables and at the desks of Congress, which may finally begin to limit these practices. The revelations have already prompted two federal judges to accuse the N.S.A. of violating the Constitution (although a third, unfortunately, found the dragnet surveillance to be legal). A panel appointed by President Obama issued a powerful indictment of the agencys invasions of privacy and called for a major overhaul of its operations. All of this is entirely because of information provided to journalists by Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who stole a trove of highly classified documents after he became disillusioned with the agencys voraciousness. Mr. Snowden is now living in Russia, on the run from American charges of espionage and theft, and he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community. Mr. Snowden is currently charged in a criminal complaint with two violations of the Espionage Act involving unauthorized communication of classified information, and a charge of theft of government property. Those three charges carry prison sentences of 10 years each, and when the case is presented to a grand jury for indictment, the government is virtually certain to add more charges, probably adding up to a life sentence that Mr. Snowden is understandably trying to avoid. The president said in August that Mr. Snowden should come home to face those charges in court and suggested that if Mr. Snowden had wanted to avoid criminal charges he could have simply told his superiors about the abuses, acting, in other words, as a whistle-blower. If the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information that provided whistle-blower protection to the intelligence community for the first time, Mr. Obama said at a news conference. So there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions. In fact, that executive order did not apply to contractors, only to intelligence employees, rendering its protections useless to Mr. Snowden. More important, Mr. Snowden told The Washington Post earlier this month that he did report his misgivings to two superiors at the agency, showing them the volume of data collected by the N.S.A., and that they took no action. (The N.S.A. says there is no evidence of this.) Thats almost certainly because the agency and its leaders dont consider these collection programs to be an abuse and would never have acted on Mr. Snowdens concerns. In retrospect, Mr. Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not. Beyond the mass collection of phone and Internet data, consider just a few of the violations he revealed or the legal actions he provoked: The N.S.A. broke federal privacy laws, or exceeded its authority, thousands of times per year, according to the agencys own internal auditor. The agency broke into the communications links of major data centers around the world, allowing it to spy on hundreds of millions of user accounts and infuriating the Internet companies that own the centers. Many of those companies are now scrambling to install systems that the N.S.A. cannot yet penetrate. The N.S.A. systematically undermined the basic encryption systems of the Internet, making it impossible to know if sensitive banking or medical data is truly private, damaging businesses that depended on this trust. His leaks revealed that James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, lied to Congress when testifying in March that the N.S.A. was not collecting data on millions of Americans. (There has been no discussion of punishment for that lie.) The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rebuked the N.S.A. for repeatedly providing misleading information about its surveillance practices, according to a ruling made public because of the Snowden documents. One of the practices violated the Constitution, according to the chief judge of the court. A federal district judge ruled earlier this month that the phone-records-collection program probably violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. He called the program almost Orwellian and said there was no evidence that it stopped any imminent act of terror. The shrill brigade of his critics say Mr. Snowden has done profound damage to intelligence operations of the United States, but none has presented the slightest proof that his disclosures really hurt the nations security. Many of the mass-collection programs Mr. Snowden exposed would work just as well if they were reduced in scope and brought under strict outside oversight, as the presidential panel recommended. When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government. Thats why Rick Ledgett, who leads the N.S.A.s task force on the Snowden leaks, recently told CBS News that he would consider amnesty if Mr. Snowden would stop any additional leaks. And its why President Obama should tell his aides to begin finding a way to end Mr. Snowdens vilification and give him an incentive to return home.

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October 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, says he’s not safe in Russia …

Edward Snowden has raised concerns regarding his safety in Russia, where the former U.S. intelligence contractor has resided for over five years in the wake of leaking classified National Security Agency documents. As for the future in Russia and what will happen there, I cant say Im safe. I dont know Mr. Snowden said Thursday during an address telecast to a crowd in Austria. But the real question is: Does it matter? the NSA leaker added. I didnt come forward to be safe. Mr. Snowden, 35, had has passport revoked while traveling internationally in June 2013 shortly after revealing himself as the source of recently leaked NSA documents, leaving him stateless and stranded at an airport near Moscow for several weeks prior to ultimately receiving asylum from Russian President Vladimir Putin. He previously worked for the CIA in addition to government contractors Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, including a stint at the latters office in Kunia Camp, Hawaii, prior to being terminated after leaking documents exposing the NSAs surveillance abilities and operations. If I wanted safety, Id be sitting in Hawaii right now, making a lot of money, spying on everyone, Mr. Snowden said during Thursdays event, organized by University of Innsbruck in Tyrol, Austria. Mr. Snowdens asylum status is valid through at least 2020, his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said previously. Questions concerning his fate have emerged repeatedly in recent years, however, on account of factors including his criticism of Mr. Putins policies, as well as President Trump, a staunch critic of unauthorized leaks and Mr. Snowden in particular, taking office in 2017. He previously referred to a surveillance law signed by Mr. Putin in 2016 as an unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights, and his leaks resulted in Mr. Trump previously called him a traitor who should be executed accordingly. I have criticized them repeatedly, Mr. Snowden said of the Russian government during Thursdays event, and I will continue to do so. But my focus is not going to be on Russia, because Russia is not my home. Russia is my place of exile. The United States will always be my first priority. We have to fix our own societies first before we try to save the world Mr. Snowden added. Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, indicated earlier this year that Moscow was disinterested in pursuing any plans to punt Mr. Snowden back to the U.S., where he faces criminal counts of espionage and potentially a lengthy prison sentence. We respect his rights as an individual, Mr. Lavrov said previously. And thats why we were not able, we were not in the position to expel him against his will because he found himself in Russia even without the U.S. passport. Mr. Trump, on his part, has expressed a drastically different opinion with respect to Mr. Snowden. A spy in the old days, when our country was respected and strong, would be executed, Mr. Trump tweeted in 2014.

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October 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden, world’s ‘most wanted fugitive’ to address Israeli panel …

Former NSA analyst Edward Snowden. (photo credit: REUTERS) Dear Reader, As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World. As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. For $5 a month you will receive access to the following: Help us grow and continue telling Israels story to the world. Thank you, Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief Edward Snowden, the infamous whistleblower who leaked classified NSA information in 2013, will speak via video conference to an Israeli audience at a closed event on November 6, according to a statement released on Wednesday. Snowden will speak on Israel-related issues from his secret hideaway in Russia at an event organized by the Israeli media consultancy firm OH! Orenstein Hoshen. Though he will not be physically present, due to concerns that he might be handed over to US authorities, he is expected to take questions from the audience. Former deputy chief of the Mossad Ram Ben-Barak will respond to Snowdens remarks. Hedan Orenstein and Itamar Hoshen said, Our firm is engaged in advising clients in the realm of economics, law, technology and high-tech and these are exactly the fields in which Snowden is involved. Snowden is a fascinating figure because his actions are so controversial. The audience will hear can ask tough questions and people can work out their own opinions. Snowden was working for a private contractor of the CIA and NSA when he made international headlines by publishing masses of classified information in the biggest and most sensitive leak in the history of intelligence. The leak unveiled for the first time the existence of post-9/11 powerful and invasive global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA, with the cooperation of European governments and telecommunication companies, including Google, Microsoft and Verizon. Some of the programs were discontinued, while others were continued but with higher levels of regulation. In February 2015, a classified document leaked by Snowden revealed information about the cooperative intelligence-gathering efforts of the US, UK and Israel against Iranian targets. JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU: Other previous Snowden documents revealed a number of details of the inner workings of the intelligence relationships between the US and Israel and with the other members of the Five Eyes in general, which also includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand and England. Those previous leaks, mostly in 2013, related to the NSA eavesdropping on some top Israeli officials and possible Israeli cooperation with the NSA to eavesdrop on other mutual allies of the two countries. Another revelation indicated that the NSA may have greater authority to check communications with US citizens living in foreign countries, such as Israel, while yet another revealed that the US may sometimes cooperate with Unit 8200 to review metadata on behalf of the NSA that the NSA itself cannot review under US law. Snowden remains one of the worlds most wanted fugitives. He could face life in prison or even the death penalty if he is ever captured. He is both vilified as a traitor and revered as the whistle-blower who altered the playing field on the issue, putting the NSA on the defensive. Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here> > Share on facebook

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October 13, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Snowden | Official Trailer [HD] | Global Road Entertainment

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone, who brought Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street and JFK to the big screen, tackles the most important and fascinating true story of the 21st century. Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/2FPqnq0 About Global Road Entertainment:Global Road is a preeminent worldwide content studio that develops, finances, produces, acquires, and distributes entertainment content across theatrical, television, digital, and emerging platforms. The company also represents the distribution rights on behalf of third-party films intended for a global audience. Owned by Tang Media Partners, Global Road Entertainment is uniquely positioned to harness its deep resources and experience as a producer, financier, and sales entity to offer the industry and consumer a robust slate of traditional and next generation content. Connect with Global Road EntertainmentFacebook: https://bit.ly/2rAgOSdTwitter: https://bit.ly/2qvcSChInstagram: https://bit.ly/2JK3AKPOfficial Website: http://globalroadentertainment.com Snowden | Official Trailer [HD] | Global Road Entertainmenthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlSAi… https://www.youtube.com/globalroadent…

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October 13, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden – IMDb

Filmography2017Die Story(TV Series documentary)Himself2016Digits(TV Mini-Series documentary)Himself2016Vice(TV Series documentary)Himself2016/IRisk(Documentary)Himself2016Freenet(Documentary)Edward Snowden2015Nova(TV Series documentary)Himself2015Panorama(TV Series documentary)Himself – Former Contractor for NSA and CIA Edit Personal Details Publicity Listings: 2 Biographical Movies | 2 Print Biographies | 6 Articles | See more Height:5’11″(1.8m) Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video. Start your free trial

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October 9, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden on Malkia Cyril, a multigenerational black …

For its 25th anniversary, Wired Magazine asked numerous luminaries to pick a figure from the digital world to celebrate; Edward Snowden chose EFF Pioneer Award Winner Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice and cofounder of the Media Action Grassroots Network, who is one of the leaders in teaching grassroots activists to resist government surveillance. Cyril’s mother was a Black Panther leader, subjected to heavy state surveillance (her file, eventually FOIAd from the FBI by Cyril and her sister, ran to 1,422 pages). Informed by this legacy of surveillance and its role in system oppression, Cyril has led the charge to ensure “equal access to technology and communication.” Snowden describes the connection between his whistleblowing and Cyril’s work, about the role of surveillance in singling out whole populations (notably African Americans and Muslims) as “perpetually guilty.” Malkias organizations help to safeguard groups like Black Lives Matter against surveillance. Their work is a reminder that if we want to have a sense of how the future may feel for all of us, we need to examine how the past and present have felt for some of us. For most of history, surveillance was costly and resource-intensive, so governments had to be selective in whom they targeted. Today, surveillance is digital, automated, and pervasive, and governments can afford to track and record nearly everyone. When I first came forward, I warned that the surveillance system the government had created had terrible potential for abuse. In the wrong hands, it offered the opportunity for turnkey tyranny. Nothing that has occurred since has changed that assessment. Much of it has deepened my concern. This is not science fictionit is happening now, with those on the edge of society knowing all too well what it means to live under the unblinking eye of judgment. Truly understanding their experience may be our last chance to stay free. Malkias radical lesson is about the nature of rights: The best way to protect somebody is to protect everybodyespecially the most vulnerable among us. Edward Snowden on Protecting Activists Against Surveillance [Edward Snowden/Wired] (Image: Dignidadrebelde, CC-BY) Researchers from the University of Toronto’s outstanding Citizen Lab (previously) have published their latest research on the notorious and prolific Israeli cyber-arms-dealer The NSO Group (previously), one of the world’s go-to suppliers for tools used by despots to spy on dissidents and opposition figures, often as a prelude to their imprisonment, torture and murder. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK spy agency GCHQ acted illegally when it engaged in mass-scale domestic surveillance of every Briton’s electronic communications, a programme that was revealed by documents supplied to journalists by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NYPD’s secretive Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center uses software from IBM in its video analytics system, which allows cops to automatically scan surveillance footage for machine-generated labels that identify clothing and other identifying classifiers. As more companies leverage cloud technology to unite and streamline their operations, the need for capable IT pros increases. But, as any IT guru will tell you, demand alone wont get your foot in the door to this lucrative field. If you want to cash in on the demand and build a thriving IT career, [] iOS 12 is finally here, which means now is the best time for aspiring developers to throw their hats into the app development game. While app development can be tricky for some, you can take an intuitive, beginner-friendly approach to understanding app creation and Apples latest iOS platform with theiOS 12 & Xcode 10 Bootcamp, [] It might still be September, but the holiday season will be here before you know it, which means now is the time to think about where you want to vacation toand what to do once you get there. To this end, weve scoured the Web and tracked down a number of travel hacking ebooks, gadgets, []

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September 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Citizenfour Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Edward Snowden …

Subscribe to TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/sxaw6hSubscribe to COMING SOON: http://bit.ly/H2vZUnSubscribe to INDIE TRAILERS: http://goo.gl/iPUuoLike us on FACEBOOK: http://goo.gl/dHs73Follow us on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/1ghOWmtCitizenfour Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Edward Snowden Documentary HD CITIZENFOUR is the never before seen, utterly riveting first-person look at how director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald first met with whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong where he gave them documents showing widespread abuses of power by the National Security Administration. It is an unprecedented fly-on-the-wall account of one of the most groundbreaking moments in recent history. In January 2013, Poitras (recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Genius Fellowship and co-recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service) was several years into making a film about surveillance in the post-9/11 era when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four,” who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes. Executive Produced by Steven Soderbergh. The Movieclips Trailers channel is your destination for the hottest new trailers the second they drop. Whether it’s the latest studio release, an indie horror flick, an evocative documentary, or that new RomCom you’ve been waiting for, the Movieclips team is here day and night to make sure all the best new movie trailers are here for you the moment they’re released. In addition to being the #1 Movie Trailers Channel on YouTube, we deliver amazing and engaging original videos each week. Watch our exclusive Ultimate Trailers, Showdowns, Instant Trailer Reviews, Monthly MashUps, Movie News, and so much more to keep you in the know. Here at Movieclips, we love movies as much as you!

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September 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Amazon.com: Citizenfour: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald …

This review is not my opinion of Snowden or the NSA but my thoughts on the quality of the documentary. I am surprised by the dozens of one-word “boring” reviews here. Since CitizenFour is a documentary, I wasn’t expecting a car-chase pace. Perhaps it is because I immersed myself in an isolated environment with laptop with headphones that I found the slow pacing and long silences to be so tense. The words left unsaid often seemed more sinister than those articulated. And despite Snowden wanting to come forward, I could really begin to feel his terror as the comfort of his anonymity and in-charge interviews gave way to the encroaching “oh crap” moments as he began preparing for the next steps. The brief scene of him staring out the hotel window was chilling in its simplicity. It reminded me of films where prisoners of war are dragged outside to the firing squad and the prisoner looks up at the sky, knowing it will be the last time. Ever. When the Chinese human rights lawyer said they didn’t have a car, and Snowden made eye contact with the filmmaker, I could almost feel his stomach plummet. I enjoy horror movies, but this quiet documentary really disturbed me.

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September 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Playing Edward Snowden | The New Yorker

During the three years he has spent in Russian exile, Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. contractor turned whistle-blower, has maintained a surprisingly steady presence in American culture as a kind of virtual trans-border eminence. He appears via Snowbot and video link at conferences, in museums, and in theatres. He delivers lectures at universities and grants interviews to reporters, including, in 2014, a virtual interview with The New Yorkers Jane Mayer. This past July, he turned up at Comic-Con, at a secret screening to promote Snowden, the new film directed by Oliver Stone, which comes out on September 16th. Snowdens digital omnipresence has an ironic quality: hes a ghost in the screen, a disembodied conscience, a spy in the sky. Yet in his most defining appearances to date, Snowdens voice has come to us in mediated form, shaped by the artists and journalists whom he has engaged as collaboratorsand sounding quite different depending on who is in the editing bay. For the public, the Snowden story began with a short film by the acclaimed documentarian Laura Poitras, which later became the basis for her Academy Award-winning documentary Citizenfour. The footage, shot in a Hong Kong hotel room where Poitras and the Guardian journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill arranged to meet with Snowden, in 2013, showed a pale and unshaven twenty-nine-year-old in rectangular spectacles, explaining eloquently, and with eerie calmness, why he had chosen to reveal the existence of an extensive domestic-surveillance program in the United States, and then to reveal his own identity. He described the system that he helped build as the architecture of oppression, and said that he could not go on living unfreely but comfortably, paid well to spy on unwitting Americans. The tale, many said, was straight out of a John le Carr novel, especially when Snowden, charged by the United States Department of Justice under the Espionage Act, had his passport revoked en route to Ecuador and spent thirty-nine days in Moscows Sheremetyevo Airport, before being granted temporary asylum in Russia. In his best-selling book No Place to Hide, Greenwald recalls thinking to himself that the Snowden story was a surreal international thriller. That line must have been a red cape snapping in the faces of Hollywood packagers. Sony secured the rights to Greenwalds book. Stone, on the other hand, optioned Time of the Octopus, a novel by Anatoly Kucherena, the Russian lawyer who negotiated Snowdens asylum, which recounts the adventures of an N.S.A. whistle-blower named Joshua Cold, including his extended stay in Sheremetyevo Airport and his dealings with journalists named Boitras and Greywold. According to a long process piece recently published in the Times Magazine, it was Kucherena who approached Stone, offering access to his client in exchange for the rights to the book, for which a Wikileaks data dump revealed he charged Stone a million dollars. (Stone says that he never intended to use the material.) Turned down by numerous studios, Stone got distribution through Open Road, an independent production company that last year won an Oscar for Spotlight. Stones Snowden follows the title character, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, from a patriotic impulse to enlist in the Special Forces after 9/11, through a stellar intelligence career and an odd-couple romance with a liberal acrobat and pole-dancer named Lindsay Mills, to his current state of exile. Many scenes re-create Poitrass hotel-room documentary almost to the framein one case, literally, when one side of Snowdens rectangular eyeglasses, jutting past his face, distorts the field of view. (Melissa Leo plays Poitras; Zachary Quinto plays Greenwald; Shailene Woodley plays Mills.) Stone, who is known for his anti-establishment character studies that engage with recent American historyand for conspiracy-theory politicsportrays Snowdens choices as the inevitable actions of a person of conscience. He and his co-writer, Kieran Fitzgerald (grandson of Robert), have named the overreaching spy boss (played by Rhys Ifans in the film) after the zealous Thought Policeman OBrien in 1984. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stone described the film as a close cousin to Born on the Fourth of July, his 1989 movie starring Tom Cruise as Ron Kovic, a paralyzed Vietnam veteran who becomes an antiwar protester. Much like Kovic, Snowden wanted to serve his country, was repelled by what that service entailed, and then found a purer form of patriotism by speaking out against the actions of those in power. As in Born on the Fourth of July, the Snowden character is ennobled by his transformation from insider to outcast; the drama, driven by the heros disgust and disillusionment, centers on his change of sides. In Stones hands, the man who signed his anonymous e-mails to Poitras Citizen is not a character playing ethics chess, as in le Carr, but a hero of apostasyan American archetype as old as the nation itself. When, in the movies final moments, the real Edward Snowden appears, in a gauzy cameo that the Times Magazine reports was shot in Anatoly Kucherenas dacha, we are meant to see him as the ultimate patriot. Gordon-Levitt, like Snowden, was born in the early eighties. A former child actor, he retains an eager boyishnessnot enigmatic so much as blank-slate. In last years Robert Zemeckis bio-pic The Walk, he portrayed the French high-wire artist Philippe Petit with what Richard Brody characterized as the antic perkiness of a salesman. As Snowden, the actors innate jauntiness is suppressed; hes watchful, grim, and courteous. To prepare for his role, he spent several hours with his subject in Moscow; he found him to be polite and slightly formal, in a Southern way. (Snowden is from North Carolina.) When Stone called him about the part, Gordon-Levitt knew little about Snowden. Since then, he has become an evangelist for Snowdens cause, donating most of his acting fee for the film to the A.C.L.U.the organization for which Snowdens American lawyer, Ben Wizner, worksand embarking on a collaboration between HitRecord,an online collaborative community that he started a decade ago, and the A.C.L.U. to explore the role that technology should play in a democracy. Not long ago, I went to see Gordon-Levitt at the HitRecord offices, a loftlike space in a suburb of Los Angeles. It was lunchtime, and employees were gathered around a communal table eating takeout. HitRecord brings together half a million animators, editors, writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other content generators, who collaborate on various kinds of projects, some prompted by Gordon-Levitt and his editorial team. (The team also produced an Emmy-winning television show, HitRecord on TV, for the millennial-oriented network Pivot.) Gordon-Levitt, who was wearing khakis, Pumas, and a T-shirt, led me over to a quiet seating area and eased into an armchair. He said that, when he met with Snowden in Moscow, he discovered that the two have common ground. Like Snowdenwho, according to Vanity Fair, spent his late adolescence onlineGordon-Levitt, a native of the San Fernando Valley, grew up around computers. His dad, who runs a small software business, had a Commodore 64; Gordon-Levitt got his first e-mail address in high school. I dont think I ever thought of computers or the Internet as something that could be leveraged to the detriment of the human race, he told me. The A.C.L.U. collaboration, which is called Are you there, Democracy? Its me, the Internet (pace Judy Blume), required participants to respond to the prompt Is todays technology good or bad for Democracy? In one video, a Pakistani student, Ayesha, starts her recording by removing a sticker that coversher Webcam. (In Stones film, Snowden castigates Mills for not taking the same precaution.) She describes the first time she voted, in 2013. The polling station was full of people pressuring voters to cast their ballots for a certain candidate; Ayesha and others recorded videos and posted them on the Internet. By recording or sharing our sentiments about what happened in our supposedly awesome democracy, we actually started a conversation about the fairness of the election process, she says. The notion of using surveillance to create transparency is an inversion of the Snowden narrativebut, then again, so is the contribution that Gordon-Levitt solicited from Snowden himself. In the HitRecord office, an editor was working on the footagea recorded Google Hangout sessionand Snowdens face was talking in front of a green screen. Look, nobodys gonna argue that theres not a lot of places where technology does hurt, he said. There are days when, you know, I think that things are pretty bad. But there are also moments that I see that things could get really good. The recorded Snowden continued, What technology can ultimately provide, if we make sure it works for us rather than against us, is liberty. People are more liberated to be creative. People are more liberated to share. People are more liberated to engage in their democracy. In a (https://hitrecord.org/projects/2894051/highlights) posted on HitRecords Web site, under the title Snowden Optimistic Project, Gordon-Levitt calls upon animators and illustrators to contribute to the projecthe envisions an enormous collage, with a hand-done feel, that will visually convey the ideas Snowden expresses, through line drawings, paper cut-outs, stop-motion animation. A sample clip made by HitRecord shows an animated drone flying across the screen and dropping a bomb as Snowden says the words places where technology does hurt. At the words mass surveillance, a row of grabby hands rises from bottom of screen, while a boxy surveillance camera swivels like a curious creature searching for morsels. One contributor tackled the next linesThere are days when, you know, I think that things are pretty bad. But there are also moments that I see that things could get really goodwith an animated illustration of dark clouds being swiped away, Apple style, on a smartphone. Gordon-Levitt, who communicates with Snowden using encrypted video chat, has said that Snowdens sunny outlook surprised him. People think of him as symbolizing the negative sides of technology, he told me. The actor, by contrast, has come to see Snowden as an idealist. I think Snowden has a lot of love for the Internet and what it could and should be, he said. People like him and me and younger identify with it. He believes its spreading connection, collaboration, and compassion. He risked his life for it. Whereas in Poitrass film Snowden was a pensive philosopher, and in Stones hes a principled patriot, through the lens of Gordon-Levitt and his team Snowden seems on his way to becoming a different sort of cultural icon. He is an indie Internet celebrity, an advocate for the very type of digital community that HitRecord seeks to cultivateupbeat, open, appealing. And in place of the vast and threatening thing he exposed is a vast and comforting faith in what is to come. Gordon-Levitt told me, Socrates wouldnt write anything down. He said, Itll put your mind in a prison. We think of the written word as a positive and liberating technology. I think the same applies to computers. Its just starting! Its starting now.

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September 10, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed


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