Posts tagged with ‘Laura Poitras’

WikiLeaks: Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit
Last night’s FJP field trip brought us to the Whitney Museum in New York City to hear a talk organized by the documentarian Laura Poitras about the national security state in the United States.
The speakers were Jacob Appelbaum and William Binney.
Binney is the former technical director of the National Security Agency’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. He retired in 2001 when the NSA started to turn its surveillance capabilities on US citizens.
Applebaum is a noted privacy rights evangelist, and is most visible as a spokesperson for the Tor Project, a software solution to protect individuals from online surveillance, and for his work with Wikileaks.
All have been targeted by the US government for their activities.
Earlier in the day, Democracy Now interviewed each about their work and the national security state. The segment with Binney is here, the segment with Applebaum is here and the segment with Poitras is here.
Bonus: James Bamford’s March cover story for Wired: The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say).
Image: A WikiLeaks truck parked outside the Whitney Museum in New York City.

WikiLeaks: Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit

Last night’s FJP field trip brought us to the Whitney Museum in New York City to hear a talk organized by the documentarian Laura Poitras about the national security state in the United States.

The speakers were Jacob Appelbaum and William Binney.

Binney is the former technical director of the National Security Agency’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. He retired in 2001 when the NSA started to turn its surveillance capabilities on US citizens.

Applebaum is a noted privacy rights evangelist, and is most visible as a spokesperson for the Tor Project, a software solution to protect individuals from online surveillance, and for his work with Wikileaks.

All have been targeted by the US government for their activities.

Earlier in the day, Democracy Now interviewed each about their work and the national security state. The segment with Binney is here, the segment with Applebaum is here and the segment with Poitras is here.

Bonus: James Bamford’s March cover story for Wired: The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say).

Image: A WikiLeaks truck parked outside the Whitney Museum in New York City.

As members of the nonfiction filmmaking community, we want to express our outrage over the ongoing harassment of our colleague Laura Poitras by the US government and the Department of Homeland Security. We call on the Obama administration to investigate this abuse of power and to bring an end to this persistent violation of America’s bedrock principle of a free press.

Laura Poitras is one of America’s most important nonfiction filmmakers, the recipient of the 2011 Cinema Eye Honor for Outstanding Achievement in Direction for her landmark film, The Oath, and the chair of our Filmmaker Advisory Board. She was nominated for a Best Documentary Feature Oscar and twice has been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her work. Her long list of credits, awards and impeccable credentials would be easy for anyone to verify.

Over the course of the last several years, as Laura has been working to chronicle the post-9/11 world and the effect of American policies here and abroad, she has been repeatedly harassed, detained, interrogated and has had her cameras and computers seized by Homeland Security officials as she attempts to re-enter her home country.

Not once in more than three dozen detentions and interrogations has Homeland Security found anything to justify this chronic abuse of power.

Within the last week, as Laura was returning from a recent trip abroad, she was once again detained. This time, however, she was also threatened with being handcuffed for attempting to take notes during her interrogation.

Nonfiction filmmakers perform a vital role in a democratic society, serving as observers and investigators of the world around us. It is unacceptable for any American nonfiction filmmaker or journalist to be treated in this manner. They must be able to return to their own country without fear of arrest or fear that their work product will be seized, solely because they are investigating or chronicling subject matter that may be sensitive or controversial.

We ask other members of the nonfiction film and journalism communities to protest this affront to a free press and we reiterate our call on the Obama administration to end these draconian and un-American policies once and for all.

An open letter to the Obama administration from Cinema Eye, an organization that holds the annual Cinema Eye Honors documentary awards. To date, over 60 filmmakers have signed the letter including 10 Academy Award winners.

For background on what’s been happening to Poitras, see Glenn Greenwald’s article in Salon.