SNOWDEN stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is written and directed by Oliver Stone. The script is based on the books The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena. Written by
Open Road Films
Arguing about gender identity and racial issues completely misses the substance, the real issues of what happens when we let government expand it's powers under the pretext of terrorism, after a tragedy that shut down all thinking. Powered by genuine fear of terrorists created as a result of imperialistic and abusive foreign policy, the American public has ignored waste of tens of billions of tax-dollars that could've been spent on health care, infrastructure and education. Developed in secrecy, perfected on 'worthless' Muslims in Middle-East, everything from surveillance blimps to state-sponsored malware is now rapidly being deployed in homeland: US is being torn apart not just by racial issues, but by the ever increasing wealth gap, the scale of which according to a recent study, most American haven't even got a clear understanding of.
Privatized industry funded with tax-payer money without the *informed* consent of citizens has turned into legal theft. Snowden was part of that system, but in a unique way; He worked in a position where he saw far beyond the standard compartmentalization. He wasn't Alice developing metadata collection program. He wasn't Bob creating target automation. He wasn't Charlie building drones. He wasn't David confirming kills. He was Edward who saw NSA's SKYNET program, a real tool used to automate drone murders with surveillance metadata.
Saying it took guts to blow whistle on corruption within the world's largest intelligence establishment is a complete understatement.
While some people like Silas Davis here seem to think no large terrorist attacks must mean mass surveillance, works, The Intercept has done extensive reporting on how not only this is false, but that FBI has had to provide resources on troubled people just to get them arrested.
Privacy is a universal human right, but having to hand it away for the sake of security reduces it to a a mere privilege. What makes it even more ridiculous is the transparency in society has completely reversed it's state: Citizens are monitored to the point where gerrymandering strips their only power -- their vote. Meanwhile government the power of which is derived from the governed has secret court, secret laws and secret interpretations of these laws. In such situation "I have nothing to hide" is either badly placed trust or a coping mechanism.
The revelations by Snowden were made possible by decades long effort by the cypherpunk community, that has developed encryption tools from Tor-network to PGP-emails to OTR-instant messaging that Poitras, Greenwald and Snowden actually used to empower themselves during 2013. Citizenfour documentary honored these projects during credits.
Information security allowed by the law, and achieved with sophisticated technology is extremely important. Terrorism isn't the number one threat, cyber attacks are. The Snowden documents have revealed how NSA has injected back doors into hardware, bribed companies like RSA to use back doored random number generators, and weakened industry standards in an attempt to monitor everything. In reality they've made much easier for all cyber terrorists and foreign governments to hack vital systems that belong to government and companies, and that maintain the critical infrastructure.
How well the movie grasps over all this, we'll see soon. The 10 goes just for increasing the awareness. Meanwhile, I suggest the conversation be steered towards the real issues instead of feeding trolls.
148 of 209 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?