In January 2013, Laura Poitras started receiving anonymous encrypted e-mails from "CITIZENFOUR," who claimed to have evidence of illegal covert surveillance programs run by the NSA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies worldwide. Five months later, she and reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The resulting film is history unfolding before our eyes.Written by
The film's ending credits unusually name several free software projects and security tools, without which "this film would not be possible". The programs named include Tor, Tails, Debian GNU/Linux, Off-the-Record Messaging, the GNU Privacy Guard, Truecrypt, and SecureDrop. See more »
In the second CNN item (Friday, 53'), the Hebrew characters on the mobile phone in the background aren't censored in the first two shots. Afterwards the background has changed to only leave Latin characters on the dial pad. See more »
The Guardian reports on the same NSA program soon after.
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This documentary has it all. The narrative is compelling, but honest to the reality it portrays. The work on the documentary began before the Snowden files started leaking, and it gives you an unprecedented look into how it all came about. It gives you an understanding of who Edward Snowden is and why he did what he did. He was not just some guy who stumbled over something he realized that someone else might find useful. He knew exactly what he had, and what to do about it.
And not only this: The documentary manages to convey the significance of the leak. What power the information held, and just how bad the NSA is.
The only negative thing I can say about it is that it opens a bit slow, and the technical aspects of it might scare of some viewers.
It's amazing that this is the world we live in. Snowden is a hero.
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