The Filmmaker Behind the Edward Snowden Leaks

Wikimedia Commons

AA Font size + Print

A new <em>New York Times</em> magazine profile describes how far Laura Poitras has gone to protect her privacy, while also reporting on the government's surveillance programs. By Philip Bump

The New York Times Magazine cover story by Peter Maass detailing how Edward Snowden reached out to the two reporters that broke the NSA surveillance story isn’t about that surveillance. It’s only sort of about journalism. Instead, it’s largely a story about how close to the boundaries of civilization you must get — literally and figuratively — to be assured that you can protect your privacy. And it’s about how the United States government pushes people there.

Maass focuses on Laura Poitras in part because she is the reporter about whom less is known. But it’s primarily because it was Poitras’ personal history that led her to become an expert in the tools that were required for Snowden to communicate with the media securely.

As you may know, Poitras is a documentary filmmaker. As Maass outlines, she spent years working in Iraq, filming those affected by the American presence, including a visit to the Abu Ghraib prison. During that same time period, Poitras began to be selected for additional screening when traveling — including, on about 40 occasions by her account, being held for hours for interrogation on her travel and work. Her electronic devices were taken from her and not returned for extended periods. Eventually, she became friends with Glenn Greenwald, who then worked for Salon. After a particularly intrusive incident at Newark International, she allowed Greenwald to write a story about those stops.

Read more at The Atlantic Wire.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download
  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Top 5 Findings: Security of Internet of Things To Be Mission-Critical

    As federal agencies increasingly leverage these capabilities, government security stakeholders now must manage and secure a growing number of devices, including those being used remotely at the “edge” of networks in a variety of locations. With such security concerns in mind, Government Business Council undertook an indepth research study of federal government leaders in January 2017. Here are five of the key takeaways below which, taken together, paint a portrait of a government that is increasingly cognizant and concerned for the future security of IoT.

    Download
  • Coordinating Incident Response on Posts, Camps and Stations

    Effective incident response on posts, camps, and stations is an increasingly complex challenge. An effective response calls for seamless conversations between multiple stakeholders on the base and beyond its borders with civilian law enforcement and emergency services personnel. This whitepaper discusses what a modern dispatch solution looks like -- one that brings together diverse channels and media, simplifies the dispatch environment and addresses technical integration challenges to ensure next generation safety and response on Department of Defense posts, camps and stations.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.