Last night I took in a viewing of Laura Poitras latest documentary, CitizenFour
. The film chronicles the lead up, release and after math of Edward Snowden's whistleblower leaks regarding the NSA and the major privacy violations they incurred not only on US Citizens but on anyone, anywhere.
The film itself does a great job of telling the story - maintaining the feeling of intense secrecy and tension of the actions involved. Just watch the trailer
and you get a feel for the mood of the movie.
But the truly
scary part is the information that Snowden unveiled. Maybe it doesn't pack as much of a punch anymore because it's been out and about for so long but it is unreal to think of the systems that exist that are capable of fully monitoring 1.2 million Americans - and that's just US Citizens. The lack of regard for due process, judicial permission or even probable cause is shocking enough but it's even harder to comprehend the sheer amount
of information being saved.
As a citizen of the planet, you should see this movie. What the NSA is doing is wrong, no doubt. What can be done to turn off the machines? The answer is beyond me. I hope that whistleblowers like Snowden and changes in private company functionality (i.e. iCloud's asymmetric cryptography scheme
) can help make the slightest dent but I'd love to know things people
can do to help make it impossible to track at this level.