Big screen whistleblower: Edward Snowden to appear in Oliver Stone film about himself
Although actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play Snowden in the upcoming film, the NSA whistleblower will be making an appearance on the silver screen, executive producer Igor Lopatenok told RIA Novosti.
“Edward will appear in the film; he had one day of shooting in Moscow. We shot mostly in Munich, as well as in Hawaii, Hong Kong, and in Washington, where he could not come…,” Lopatenok said.
The executive producer went on to say that Snowden took part in around ten meetings in Moscow for the Oliver Stone film, and that Gordon-Levitt also met with the whistleblower. In fact, one particular scene in the movie will show the real-life Snowden in the same frame as the actor portraying him.
“…We have a moment when they were both in the frame… and I think Joseph was able to convey the character of Edward, he did it,” Lopatenok said.
The film is set to be released in Russia on September 15, and in the US one day later, but Russian viewers will be treated to an extra four minutes of the film, which US viewers won’t see.
“…The Russian audience is lucky to see a little more,” Lopatenok said, adding that some scenes were cut from the US version.
However, regardless of which country the movie is viewed in, it will make film-goers re-evaluate their views on internet privacy and social media, Lopatonok told Sputnik.
“For us, it is not the box office that matters, but the audience’s reaction. Looking at Stone’s previous films, they work for a long time; people keep revisiting them. In this case, we have a big Oliver Stone film, made in his style,” Lopatenok said.
Snowden has approved the film and its story, Lopatenok said, while praising Gordon-Levitt’s portrayal of the whistleblower.
‘The topic of Snowden is very controlled’
The entire topic of Snowden is “controlled,” according to Lopatenok. By way of example, he described a situation involving BMW, which used to sponsor almost all the films shot in Germany produced by Moritz Borman, a famous producer credited for Alexander and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, who is involved in the Snowden film production as well.
However, when BMW learned that Borman was producing a film about Snowden this time, it asked him to return the cars, Lopatenok claims.
“We were shooting in Munich, [BMW] gave us cars, and then we got a call from their representatives who asked us to return the cars because their American shareholders were against the story. The subject of Snowden is very controlled,” he said.
The producers feared that American special services might try to hack into the computers being used in the film production process, but Lopatenok believes that they took all possible precautions.
“We were able to take all the precautions [against hacking], however, we haven’t noticed direct intervention of [US] security services. Either we haven’t seen them, or they worked really great,” he joked.
Lopatenok added that the team learned how to use encrypted messenger applications, non-traceable browsers protected by cloud storage, and even how to cover their cameras.
“After this film, people will perceive security of their e-mails and social networks differently,” he concluded.
In 2013, Snowden – a former contractor for the US National Security Agency (NSA) – revealed that the personal communications of dozens of world leaders had been monitored by US intelligence agencies. He has been living in Russia ever since, after being granted asylum on the grounds that he would face espionage charges in the US.
Edward Snowden has helped design a mobile phone case called the “introspection engine” that, he claims, will show when a smartphone is transmitting information that could be monitored.
Presenting via video link to event at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Snowden and co-designer Andrew “Bunnie” Huang showed how the device connects to a phone’s different radio transmitters, showing its owner knows when a cellular, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection is being used to share or receive data.
Initial mockups of the introspection engine show a small, monochromatic display built into its casing shows whether the phone is “dark”, or whether it is transmitting, and it also can supply an iPhone with extra battery power and cover the rear-facing camera.
It could be developed to act as a sort of “kill switch” that would disconnect a phone’s power supply when it detects that a radio is transmitting data after its owner has attempted to turn it off.
The device is an academic project and nowhere near ready for the mass market, but could still influence how consumers view the “tracking devices” – otherwise known as smartphones that they rely on every day.
“If you have a phone in your pocket that’s turned on, a long-lived record of your movements has been created,” Snowden said. “As a result of the way the cell network functions your device is constantly shouting into the air by means of radio signals a unique identity that validates you to the phone company. And this unique identity is not only saved by that phone company, but it can also be observed as it travels over the air by independent, even more dangerous third parties.”
Most smartphones disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular transmission when in airplane mode, but Snowden and Huang say that can’t be trusted.
“Malware packages, peddled by hackers at a price accessible by private individuals, can activate radios without any indication from the user interface,” they write in their paper on the device. “Trusting a phone that has been hacked to go into airplane mode is like trusting a drunk person to judge if they are sober enough to drive.”
The project is an extension of Snowden’s work to inform the public about the surveillance capabilities available to governments around the world. In June 2013 he revealed information about mass surveillance programs from the National Security Agency, where he was a contractor, and he has since become the closest thing digital security has to Neil DeGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye: a recognizable name that can explain these issues in a way the average person can understand.
In addition to educating people about security risks, he now wants to help citizens defend themselves – if the introspection engine ever becomes a reality.
Snowden and Huang say there’s no guarantee the device will ever be more than a mockup. “Over the coming year, we hope to prototype and verify the introspection engine’s abilities,” they write. “As the project is run largely through volunteer efforts on a shoestring budget, it will proceed at a pace reflecting the practical limitations of donated time.” If they do receive the proper funding, they could release the device in partnership with the Freedom of the Press Foundation media advocacy group.
Snowden said the introspection engine was designed to help protect journalists. “One good journalist in the right place at the right time can change history. One good journalist can move the needle in the context of an election. One well-placed journalist can influence the outcome of a war,” he said.
“This makes them a target, and increasingly the tools of their trade [are] being used against them. Our technology is beginning to betray us not just as individuals but as classes of workers, particularly those who are putting a lot on the line in the public interest.”
Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin was reportedly killed in Syria after government forces were able to trace her position, according to a new lawsuit.
Snowden and Huang are concentrating on working with Apple’s iPhone, but also said the device could be modified to work on other smartphones. It’s not immediately clear how Apple will respond to the introspection engine; while it has worked to give consumers security features meant to thwart even sophisticated attackers, the company might not be fond of a device that can separate an iPhone from all networks. Apple has not responded to a request for comment.
Still, the connection to Snowden and the rush of attention following MIT Media Lab’s event might inspire others to work on devices similar to the introspection engine. Even if the tool never becomes more than an interesting subject discussed at an academic conference, it could lead to consumers having more control over what exactly their iPhone is sharing from their pockets.
The Intercept is opening up access to the Snowden archive
Starting today, the site will begin publishing internal NSA newsletters.
Nearly three years after Edward Snowden first exposed the NSA’s PRISM electronic data mining program, and his trusted journalist partners are finally ready to bring even more of those documents out into the open. Today, The Intercept announced two initiatives to further that goal: First, the site is releasing a cache of internal NSA documents that it believes will point other journalists towards noteworthy stories. And second, The Intercept will partner with other national and international media outlets to allow access to the sensitive documents in its possession.
For the first initiative, the site is publishing 166 documents from SIDtoday, the NSA’s internal newsletter that covered everything from “serious, detailed reports on top secret NSA surveillance programs to breezy, trivial meanderings of analysts’ trips and vacations,” according to The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald. Although they can occasionally seem trivial, Greenwald notes that the newsletters have been the source of “significant revelations in the past.” Moving forward, the site will periodically release new batches of SIDtoday newsletters with summaries of the content found in each, as they did with this story on the NSA’s involvement in Guantánamo interrogations.
While the second part of The Intercept’s announcement is less visible, the site says they have now navigated the tricky legal and security issues involved in allowing additional access to a wider range of publications of journalists. “We now feel comfortable that we can do so consistent with the responsibility demanded by these materials and our agreement with our source,” Greenwald writes. In addition to the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Guardian — all of which published the original batch of leaks — The Intercept claims it has already shared the documents with more than a dozen media outlets around the globe, thus ensuring local journalists can cover the stories that affect them directly.
It turns out the NSA was collecting voice calls, photos, passwords, documents, and much more
Cale Guthrie Weissman
Jul. 1, 2015
NSA documents leaked to the Guardian in 2013 described a covert program called XKeyscore, which involved a searchable database for intelligence analysts to scan intercepted data.
Now, new documents show the breadth of this program and just what sort of data XKeyscore catalogs.
According to a new report from The Intercept, the amount of data XKeyscore scoops up as well as the sort of data it collects is much larger than originally thought.
Here are a few highlights from the new report:
The XKeyescore database is “fed a constant flow of Internet traffic from fiber optic cables that make up the back of the world’s communication network, among other sources, for processing,” the new report writes. Its servers collect all of this data for up to five days, and store the metadata of this traffic for up to 45 days.
Web traffic wasn’t XKeyscore’s only target. In fact, according to the documents posted by The Intercept, it was able to gather data like voice recordings. A list of the intercepted data included “pictures, documents, voice calls, webcam photos, web searches, advertising analytics traffic, social media traffic, botnet traffic, logged keystrokes, computer network exploitation (CNE) targeting, intercepted username and password pairs, file uploads to online services, Skype sessions and more.”
How the search works is very advanced. The new documents detail ways that analysts can query the database for information on people based on location, nationality, and previous web traffic.
XKeyscore was also used to help hack into computer networks for both the US and its spying allies. One document dated in 2009 claims that the program could be used to gain access into unencrypted networks.
Using XKeyscore was reportedly insanely easy. “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds,” security researcher Jonathan Brossard told The Intercept. “Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”
While XKeyscore has been known as an intelligence tool for years now, these new documents highlight just how advanced and far-reaching the program’s surveillance is.
The NSA, in a statement to The Intercept, claims that all of its intelligence operations are “authorized by law.” It added, “NSA goes to great lengths to narrowly tailor and focus its signals intelligence operations on the collection of communications that are most likely to contain foreign intelligence or counterintelligence information.”
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/nsa-xkeyscore-surveillance-program-details-revealed-in-new-snowden-documents-2015-7#ixzz3eqx12a82
Has everybody gone stupid? The NSA has not stopped spying on Americans… and it never will, either
(NaturalNews) There are days I just shake my head in bewilderment at the astonishing, almost incomprehensible gullibility of mainstream Americans and the media that claims to be practicing intelligent journalism. When I see the Associated Press report things like, “The NSA had stopped gathering the records from phone companies hours before the deadline,” I’m almost paralyzed with disbelief.
That’s their story, though. And they apparently believe it. See Either way, no more NSA collection of US phone records. Read the story yourself if you need a really good laugh at an example of extreme gullibility in the media.
What’s so funny about that story? For starters, given that the NSA is a super secret organization with ZERO oversight and a history of repeatedly lying about what it’s really doing, how on Earth are we supposed to believe the NSA when it says it suddenly stopped spying on Americans’ phone calls because it “lost the authority” it never recognized in the first place?
Is the mainstream media really just taking the NSA’s word that it has stopped spying on everybody because it no longer has the “legal authority” to do so? There isn’t a single shred of evidence that the NSA has stopped any spying activities at all. Even more, the Associated Press has no way to verify whether anything has been halted. Trusting the NSA’s statement claiming it has halted its spying activities is about as gullible as trusting Iran’s statements on how it has halted its nuclear fuel enrichment program. Geesh… how hard is it for people to understand that governments lie by default?
Grow up, America. The NSA was spying on us all long before it ever had any legal authority to do so, and when the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked under oath, at a United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, about whether the NSA was spying on Americans, he outright lied over and over again, claiming no such spying was taking place.
So now, suddenly, we’re supposed to believe the NSA isn’t spying on us all merely because it says so? Should we pull out our pinkies and do a pinky swear on it, too? Maybe we can be BFF as well?
The NSA recognizes no legal authority, period
It’s just incredible that anyone would think the NSA’s activities are bound by anything even resembling “legal authority.” The NSA does whatever the hell it wants. And why does it do that? Because it can. Because they’ve already gathered up all the records of U.S. Supreme Court judges and they have enough emails, phone calls, web surfing history and search engine history to blackmail practically everyone in Washington D.C. (and everywhere else, for that matter).
“However Congress resolves its impasse over government surveillance, this much is clear: The National Security Agency will ultimately be out of the business of collecting and storing Americans’ calling records,” says the Associated Press. Yeah, right. In your crack-induced fairytale, maybe. But in the real world of hardball politics and blackmail, any organization that has the power to keep collecting all these records will absolutely keep doing so unless and until it is physically forced to stop (i.e. shut off the power, confiscate the servers and close the buildings).
And that’s never gonna happen, folks. Not by a long shot. The spy apparatus is far too valuable to ever be shut down. At best, it will pretend to shut down long enough to shut up the public. But behind the scenes, every single spy server dedicated to this task will continue as normal, without interruption.
Sorry to have to say this so bluntly, but anyone who believes the government is going to voluntarily stop spying on the American people is a complete fool. The way these games are really played is far beyond any recognition of “legal authority.” For example, the NSA can simply take its entire spy operation, transfer the assets to an NSA shell company in the Cayman Islands (without actually moving the servers anywhere), rename it “NSB” and continue operations as normal… all while testifying before Congress that, “The NSA has halted all domestic surveillance operations.” Yep, it has! But NSB has resumed those operations, ha ha.
And if NSB is ever unveiled, they can move it all to “NSC” and so on. The spying never stops, folks. The only thing that changes is the name of the spy organizations conducting it. Does any intelligent person honestly think they’re going to voluntarily shut off all those billions of dollars in servers and storage facilities they built for this purpose? Ain’t gonna happen.
And the way you know this to be true is to ask yourself this question: If you were the director of the world’s most amazing intelligence gathering spy tool that operated utterly without any boundaries or limitations whatsoever, would YOU shut it down? Of course not. No one would. You’d use it precisely because it’s powerful. It’s the Ring of Power from the Lord of the Rings. Almost no human being has the moral integrity to voluntarily part with it. It’s so PRECIOUSSSSS…
True American heroes: Edward Snowden and Rand Paul
Despite the ongoing spy activities of the NSA, it’s worth mentioning something hugely important in all this.
There is only ONE Presidential candidate who has the courage to stand up against the surveillance state and demand an end to these illegal violations of Americans’ privacy. His name is Rand Paul.
As far as I can tell, Rand Paul is the only candidate who has a spine. While Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton are both total spy state insiders, Rand Paul is risking not just his political career but even his own neck to take a stand against the surveillance state. That’s historic. It’s truly remarkable, and it may uniquely qualify Rand Paul to be the kind of serious reformer who can take on Washington and knock some heads around.
Edward Snowden is also, of course, the key hero in all this, and I strongly recommend you watch the documentary called Citizen Four to gain a better understanding of Snowden’s contributions to privacy and freedom in America. Edward Snowden has quite literally risked his life — and forfeited his own personal freedom — to blow the whistle on the illegal spying being conducted by the U.S. government on the citizens of America.
What should have happened immediately after Snowden’s shocking revelations was a nationwide movement of pissed off people marching in the streets against Orwellian government. But what really happened instead was a nationwide movement of apathetic sheeple turning on Oprah and munching down some Twinkies before injecting themselves with insulin. In other words, nobody gave a damn because they were too busy cowering in blind obedience and practicing cowardice and conformity.
And so they all are getting the government they deserve: an Orwellian spy state that enslaves them all. This is what they are begging for, after all, when they are so gullible that they’ll believe anything the government tells them. The same people who believe the NSA magically stopped spying on them must also believe the FDA protects the people, the DEA wants to eliminate the drug trade, and the CDC is trying to eradicate infectious disease.
Wake up and smell reality, folks. None of these entities give a damn about the People. They all exist for only one purpose: to expand and assert their own power by any means necessary. That’s the fundamental nature of organizational existence, and it’s precisely why Big Government keeps getting bigger, badder and more dangerous unless its power is somehow limited or halted by the People.
Hence the origins of the Bill of Rights in the first place, over two centuries ago.
We’ve been down this road before, of course. This isn’t the first rise of police state tyranny in the history of our world. And it certainly won’t be the last…
Leaked document confirms report linking Edward Snowden to UFOs, Feb 2014, UFO Sighting News.
Posted by Scott Waring at Sunday, March 02, 2014