David Carr interviews Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, and Laura Poitras.
That same night, Carr conducted his final interview with Edward Snowden, journalist Glenn Greenwald and director Laura Poitras on the subject of "Citizen Four," a documentary charting Snowden's decision to leak classified documents on the NSA's spying program to the media. The panel discussion was part of the newspaper's popular "TimesTalk" series and lasted roughly an hour.
[This draft transcription is a partial edit of Youtube's transcript service.]
David Van Zandt: Alright. We're going to get, we're going to get started here. My name is David Van Zandt. I’m the president here at The New School. I’m going to be extremely brief. Our speakers can only be with us a short time tonight and I want to be sure you have maximum opportunity to hear from them. I just want to say, on behalf of The New School, how proud we are to co-host this with The New York Times. This came together very quickly - in about a week – and it’s a great and most welcome surprise and opportunity for us. The New School is delighted to be the destination for this kind of activity. In fact, right now, simultaneously, over in our other auditorium, we have Ai Weiwei piped in speaking to our conference on the fear of art. So, as someone who has to go to both those things, somebody said, “Boy, you must be jogging around a lot.” And I said, “No, this is wonderful. It couldn't be any, any better. It’s very much New School.” So, again, thank you everybody, for being here today. [applause]
[01:20] [unknown woman]: Times Talks is delighted and honored to be here tonight to present the Oscar-nominated director of Citizen Four - the compelling and important film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature this year. Joining her is her collaborator in the film, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who was the first to write about the film's revelations about government surveillance of private citizens. We are also very pleased to present, via live-video, the person who had the courage to reveal his findings and start it all. You'll hear much more about our guests, the film, and all the issues it raises, in just a moment, from tonight's moderator. Every Monday his New York Times Media Equation column is must reading for everyone concerned with how media intersects with business, and politics, and society, and culture. He's also the author of the frank and fascinating memoir, The Night of the Gun, and the Andrew R. Lack Professor of Media Studies at Boston University. But before we meet him and our guests, let's take a quick look at Citizen Four, which will air on HBO on February 23rd the day after the Academy Awards. [presents trailer for Citizen Four] And now, please join me in welcoming New York Times media columnist, David Carr, and our very special guests, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, and via live-video, Edward Snowden. [Carr, Poitras, and Greenwald walk on to stage and seat themselves, applause]
[04:13] David Carr: Laura, I guess we should start by congratulating you on your Directors Guild Award - that's kind of fresh, congratulations! [applause] Glenn, I could congratulate you on your Pulitzer, but I'm a fellow journalist, and kind of jealous. [laughter]
[04:32] Glenn Greenwald: It’s also a little stale, so … .
[04:35] DC: You know what, if I won one of them babies, it would never get stale. [laughter] [to Poitras] So, I watched your film, and it really is a film, it’s also documentary, but it's a film in all aspects. I watched it for a second time the other night and, you know, I couldn’t have been more impressed. I’m just a huge fan of this film, in particular, and how it fits with the other ones. I clicked off the light, done watching it, then I clicked the light back on. It’s something about the way you made that movie, and what it reveals, that just makes it a little hard sleep. I know part of it is the that the realization we live inside a turnkey security apparatus but there’s also, it’s part of the technique of filmmaking. And you talked about the feeling, when you made it, that it felt dangerous. And you've done your share of war reporting, so could you talk a little bit about that?
[05:53] Laura Poitras: For me, as a filmmaker, as an artist, how do you, not just provide information, you know, because news does that, but how do you, sort of, express something on emotional terms? And that's what I'm trying to do. And I think with this film, you know, I felt, before Ed actually a contacted me, I was already working on the topic of surveillance. And it's something that's very, sort of, pernicious and ominous that you start to feel, once you become aware of it, or you think you’re targeted by it. And it does give you the sense of not being able to sleep. I mean, that was kind of feeling I felt for actually, you know, thanks to Ed, his first email! I mean, it was pretty soon after his first couple of emails that I actually stopped being able to, sort of, be able to rest in the same way, because I knew just how deep these powers go. But they’re also, because they're sort of in the shadows, you, they kind of get in your head in a kind of way.
[06:50] DC Glenn, when you show up in the movie, and I've gotten to know you well enough to know, you kind of wear life like a loose garment. You don't get riled by much. And you're just kind of like - sitting down and getting to it. Is it that you've always assume that your every move is watched, and this is just another day, or … ?
[07:15] GG: No, I think I masked the anxiety really well, if that was your impression. [laughter] You know, I had spent the sixteen hours on the plane ride from New York to Hong Kong looking through this extraordinary archive - a copy of which Laura had given me - to use her copy, until I got my own from Ed in Hong Kong - right before I got on the plane. And so, by the time I got a Hong Kong, I had a good sense of what the breadth and magnitude - not only of the spying was - but about the story was going to be. And so, there was so much going on, in terms of - the threats that we thought might be lurking, the danger to our source, trying to assess our source to make sure he was reliable. But mostly, what I was focused on, once I realized what these documents was, was just, how do I get these to the public as quickly as possible? And so, I was so single-mindedly focused – first, on making sure that our source was who he was claiming to be, and that what we had was what he purported it to be. And then, once I got that - I was just so eager to start putting it out into the world, where I thought it belonged, that I think it was just that kind of focus, that is what you’re seeing.
[08:24] DC: We’re lucky enough now, through Google Hangout - Ed, are you here? Yes, you’re here. Can you hear us? [Snowden appears on-screen]
[08:36] Edward Snowden: Yes, I can hear you perfectly. Can you hear me?
DC: Okay, so these guys show up. You go through that spymaster protocol that you set up with Laura. I forget what the secret word was. And these guys show up. And you’d been corresponding with them. Were they what you expected them to be? [08:59] ES: Yeah, because we had sort of an asymmetrical relationship. They were public figures. So as I was able to research them. I had photographs of them. I knew what they looked liked. I knew their ages, …
[09:10] LP: He worked for the NSA. He could look into our … [laughter; Poitras and Snowden talking over one another] ES: It’s possible, in a theoretical sense.
DC: But when you look at her NSA file, does it say, “Good egg. Nice person”?
ES: Well, actually, she was on the watch list. So that was one of the reasons that I chose her to be, sort of, the quarterback on this early on, when I was having difficulty reaching Glenn, was because she had been personally affected by this. Not only did she understand the programs, she had already spoken with NSA whistleblower, Bill Binney, who was pulled out of the shower naked at gunpoint by the FBI, due to trying to reveal some concerns about these programs in earlier years. So, not only did she have a level of expertise on this, I also knew that she was involved with people who had a very high level of technical security …
DC: Yeah, well …
ES: … when you combine these, they really made her, sort of, a natural fit.
[10:14] DC: She chose herself.
DC: That, and Glenn wouldn’t respond to your entreaties to encrypt. [laughter]
ES: Glenn’s actually a famous case. We used an encryption program called GPG, which is very difficult to use. It’s famous for this. But, I will say, they updated the documentation for this program, which, again, has been famous for being difficult to use, in the wake of these revelations, and he is now permanently memorialized as the example in how to use this. They use him by name, and all of us, in fact, as people who are trying to communicate.
DC: But you didn’t initially want to meet these guys.
ES: Well, I did want to meet them, but it was a question of, How do you control the circumstances, where you make sure that the risks of pre-emption by government, by limiting the ability for, sort of, the adversary, when you’re thinking of things in the tradecraft sense, sort of, the ability for the government to find a single point of failure in the reporting process, and shut it all done - impose some kind of prior restraint – arrest the source, you know, - put me in jail, put me under special administrative measures, so I can’t talk to a lawyer, without being watched, can’t talk to a journalists, or anything like that? And if they had they had the documents, they may not have been able to interpret them. …
DC: It’s also because you didn’t want to be the story.
ES: Right, but that was when we talked about personalizing it, like cameras. Laura initially asked, as a documentary, you know, filmmaker, would I be OK with this? And I said, “No, no, no, no, no! Laura!” for a very long time, for a number of reasons – not the least of which, is when you’re involved in an action which is very likely going to get you indicted, you typically don’t have a camera rolling in the room. [laughter]
LP: That was actually also the legal advice I got. [Snowden laughs] One lawyer said, “OK, well, you can go, just don’t bring your camera.” So, that was kind of …
DC: So, how’d you …
ES: That’s what’s good about not taking “No” for an answer. Once I had crossed the Rubicon and I knew, because I was actually leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the government, to know this isn’t some hostile action, this is public-interest work, which obviously they still contest to some degree. Once it was clear that there was no longer a risk of pre-emption and that, hopefully, the reporting would continue, she was able to say, “You know, why not? What’s the real risk here?” And Glenn and everybody in the room … she basically just turned the camera on. But we had discussed it, to some extent, …
DC: So, how’d you like the movie? [laughter]
ES: It’s incredible, I think. I mean, Laura’s incredibly talented. It’s amazing that she’s been nominated for an Oscar. And I don’t think there’s any film like it. It’s very rare to get some kind of record like this.
DC: I would say, as a consumer of news, the vid that you guys made for The Guardian to start with, very important for me to, like, look and go “This guy seems normal, to me. I don’t see a second head popping out of him. I don’t see a lot of spittle running down his cheek.” And when you guys – both you and Glenn - talked about the importance of there being a human in the middle of this, Is that part of what you were talking about?
[13:58] GG: Yeah, I mean, you know, when I had first met Ed, and then I think after that first day, that was the thing that convinced me that we could, we really had an opportunity to do something that hadn’t quite been done before. In part, because, having worked before on whistle blower cases - I was a big defender of Wiki Leaks and Chelsea Manning, and my childhood hero was Daniel Ellsberg. And, you know, the strategy always is to do exactly that – to say that these people are psychologically unstable, they’re alienated - to sort of equate this level of dissent with the definition of mental instability. So, you kind of want to turn away from the revelations, because the person revealing it is just so, kind of, icky. And when I met Ed, and saw that he’s very humble and smart and articulate. And, you know, you look at him - he just sort of looks like the grand kid of every mid-Western couple, you know. [laughter] I knew that the government was going to have an extremely difficult time playing that game in this case. And, combined with the fact that he was so adamant, as you see in the film, about coming forward – not because he has to, but because he wants to, because he’s proud of what he did, and wants to publicly account for it. The combination of his, kind of, normalcy with the power of that act, and the conviction behind it, I knew was just going to be like a nuclear weapon, and it was going to set the government back on their heels, and I think it did, for months, and we were always, I think we felt a few steps ahead of the government, because they were just reeling, and didn’t quite know how to respond.
[15:28] LP: Yeah, I mean, for me, it’s not my, usually, I mean, I do long forms, so I usually spend more time, you know, editing and processing before I put something public, but we knew that there was a time clock ticking. We knew the government, you know, had visited Ed’s house, and that it was only a matter of time before there was going to be a press conference [looks at GG], right? And Ed had made the decision that he wasn’t going to conceal his identity, so it was an obvious choice. But I remember, we were under really tight time pressure. I mean, [looks at GG] I think I showed you a cut on Saturday, or Sunday, the day we published.
[16:00] GG: Yeah, it was the night before.
LP: Showed Ewan a cut and then went over and got Glenn and we watched one version of it and then made notes and then sent it to The Guardian to put out. It was like 3 in the morning. And we actually didn’t quite know what was going to happen. I mean, you sort of see that in the film, that, I mean, in retrospect, we should have prepared a little bit more for the … [laughter]
GG: … the aftermath.
ES: … the inevitable backlash.
LP: You know, Ed having checked in under his own name, meant that it wasn’t going to take long for journalists to find us or to find him. [laughter] I mean, I’m actually surprised, in retrospect, when you see all the chiron [?} of Hong Kong when Glenn’s breaking all these stories. That why all the journalists, investigative journalists hadn’t already hopped on a plane to Hong Kong, to find out what was happening in Hong Kong.
GG: Nobody ever once asked me, like, I was breaking all these stories about the NSA, every single day and was on every news show and no one, none of these journalists ever thought to ask, like, “Hey, by the way, why are you doing these stories from Hong Kong? Like, what is it …”[laughter]
LP: No, no, no. But that’s not what happened, because … He was on a green screen. He had told them not to publish his location. So, he’s like, don’t say where I am. And you know how it is with the green screen. It’s just you with some backdrop. And then they did the chironning, [?] so I think it was actually …
GG: Yeah, CNN agreed not to say I was in Hong Kong, which they didn’t do, but they put in the background every single identifiable Hong Kong landmark [laughter] which is CNN and the next day, when NPR called or somebody, and said, “Well, you’re in Hong Kong.” And I said, “How do you know that?” And they said, “Watch your CNN appearance, it’s like …” [laughter] So we knew, we knew … And I think, when I think about Laura’s film, I always thought the hardest part was going to be how to convey the tension to an audience that already knows the outcome. But I think one of the things that the film did so brilliantly - it really did underscore, when we were in that hotel room, you know, we weren’t just worried about the US government, we were worried about the Chinese authorities, and the Hong Kong government, and other foreign intelligence services who might want to get their hands on what we were working with. So there was always hovering over every second in that room the threat that something really cataclysmic would happen.
[18:00] DC: I think we’re only going to run one little clip, because time is precious. But I think we got that mood clip. You guys, do you have a bit of vid you can roll? Are you going to put it over Ed’s pretty mug? I’m sorry, Ed, to obscure you. [laughter]
ES: By all means. I think you’ve seen enough of me.
DC: Are we running vid? [shows clip of Citizen Four with fire alarm sounding in hotel room]
[20:25] [applause] DC: So, I get a clear feeling
[From an earlier transcription effort: About two-thirds of the way through the interview, Mr. Carr asks Mr. Snowden a question that’s been on my mind for a very long time – what happened to Obama? Move this down into the correct place in transcript:]
DC: You were thinking about a move earlier, and you thought “Well, let’s wait and see what Obama’s really about … and it’s like … and I was kind of like similar, like maybe it’s evolving, maybe … and as it turns out, you know, probably the worst administration, in terms of transparency, that I’ve ever, you know, covered, and what I wonder about is, like you’re kind of a spook, did the spooks get to him?
ES: Ah I mean …
DC: What happened?
ES: The intelligence community dynamic is really, really complex, really interesting. In general, you know, the people who make a career out of intelligence, they don’t care about the President. You know - they say “Who is this guy? He’s going to be gone in eight years. We’re here for thirty” - right. So, even if we get the most anti-intelligence President out there, someone who really hates spies, really is pro-reform, wants to make sure we’re leading the world on the basis of our values rather than on the basis of our capabilities, they’ll just wait him out, they’ll just wait him out. But, regardless of how good the President is, the next President, you know when they come in, they’re going to give them a briefing as soon as they take the oath of office that is designed to scare them to death. They go “Here are all the streams of threat reporting that we have, right now, that are threats against you, against your family, against the American people, against our allies - and oh, by the way, we’ll update these every day, you know, each day for a week, and so on, until you tell us, ‘Oh, please stop’ and unless you give us new authorities, we’re not certain we can counter these threats. There was a really fascinating exchange in the Senate Intelligence Committee, where they had the Chief I believe of the NCTC – the National Counter Terrorism Centre – and Diane Feinstein, who is certainly no supporter of mine, she’s been one of my harshest critics …
DC: She called you some names I think.
ES: Yeah, …
GG: Just playful ones like traitor and things like that …
DC: That’s one, yeah …
ES: Well, that’s alright, you know - if you’re not willing to be called some bad names to serve your country, you really don’t care that much about your country - so bring the names on. But ultimately she had this NCTC guy under oath in front of her, and it was about the torture report. She said, “In advance of the torture report, you gave us this threat assessment that said the sky is going to fall you know all our guys overseas are going to be killed if you release this report and a backlash against us because you’ve proven that we torture people.” And, she kind of looks around the chamber - and I’m paraphrasing here - she’s roughly saying “Well, the sky hasn’t fallen. How do you explain this?” And he hems and haws, and goes through all this bureaucratic sort of excuses, and ultimately it boils down to - I saw a tweet about this which was quite insightful - he said, “It’s complicated.” He can’t say that the threat assessment was wrong, because that would undermine confidence in the intelligence community. He can’t say that it was right, because obviously it wasn’t, there was no violence from the release of the torture report. But this happens every day to a new President, and that’s kind of what happens. They subvert them, regardless of their intent, and they kind of embrace them, and bring them on the inside, they say “You’re one of us now, you have access to all this information - don’t feel bad about your previous positions, because you just didn’t know, you didn’t have access to the information - but now you do, and now you know, so you can make the right decision. So it’s easy for people to justify it, it doesn’t mean they’re bad people, it just means - look, these are people are very good salesmen, they’ve been doing this for sixty years or more as a community, and they’ve got the pitch refined. The problem is, when we look at a President who is - they came into office as a reformer, they made a lot of promises, they say they’re going to close Guantanamo, they say surveillance without a warrant is not a good thing, but then they extend these policies, for example, the FISA Amendment Act of 2008, the thing we got now that allows warrantless surveillance, a general warrant signed by the Attorney General, when they have these things, and they don’t do anything about them how do we explain that then? The most frustrating thing for me about all this is the fact that the President has the power, because these are executive agencies, and these operations are not required by law. He could close Guantanamo tomorrow with the stroke of a pen he’s always talking about, he could end mass surveillance tomorrow with the stroke of a pen, and, you know, we get comments out of him like, “Oh we’re hoping for a law, we’re hoping for a law” - but we don’t need a law, and legality is distinct from morality, and if the President, of all people in the country is not willing to stand up for our rights, what kind of message does this send to citizens, to children, to people around the world, about what our values really mean to our government?
final goals Hwy yeah well we can climb the stay really majors natural she chose your cell that and when wouldn't respond your entreaties to encrypt wouldn't let actually a famous cases we used the encryption Oracle GPG 'em which is very odd Spain's this I will say they documentation or this program's begins is in saint use in with his revelations and he is now permanently memorialized as the example in how to use this use my name all but you didn't initially wanna meet these guys well I did the didn't want to meet them but it was a question control the circumstances where you make sure it the risks I'll preemption I'm gonna I limiting the ability for sure the adversary things tree sense certainly will be for the government to find a single failure were process in shuttle impose Irish arrest source you know me in jail under special administrative measures against here the watch germans yeah it was also if they had historian the winter it it's also cuz you didn't want to be this story right with that was doubtless be we talk about personalizing cameras I were initially asses documentary you know human what I have you I said no no no a very long time number reasons not least of which is when you're involved in an action which is very likely issue donated donor can was actually awesome I got him one lawyer said okay well you can go but you notice don't don't think camera right so how it looks you know taking no for an answer yep once once I across the room I you because I was actually leading sir breadcrumbs government to know you know this isn't some hardstyle ash is this is hotly interest were which his justice re once it was clear there is no interest preemption and hopefully the room we continue she was able to say you know one once what's the rooms here do and everybody in the room she basically just turned the camera on we discussed selects I'm so so how'd you like the movie is is in crude yours crowd Mason she no NASCAR and I'm don't think there's any someone their yet I I would say that as a consumer news the bid you guys meet for the Guardian to start with very important for me to like lookin go this guy seems normal to me I don't see I don't see a second had popularity him I don't see a lot a spill running down his cheek and win when you guys both UN in Glen talked about the important there being a human in the middle of this is at Purdue what your die-cast me at you know when I when I had first met and at that first day that was the thing that convince me that weaker had a really had an opportunity to do something that hasn't quite been done before in part because you know having worked on on whistleblower cases I was a big defender WikiLeaks Chelsea Manning and my childhood hero is daniel ellsberg you know that the strategy always is to do exactly that to say these people are psychologically unstable their Alinea alienated an just sort of a quay this level up to send with the definition above meant all instability so that you wanna kinda turned away from the revelations because the person revealing it is just so kinda icky on and when I met at and saw that you know he he's very humble and smart and articulate in you know the key looking to sort it looks like the grandkid every midwestern couple you know I I knew that the government was going to have an extremely difficult time I'm playing that game in this case and combined with the fact that he was so adamant is used you know you seen the film about coming forward I'm not because he has to but because he wants to because he's proud of what he did and wants to publicly account for a the combination of his kind of normalcy with the power love that act in the conviction behind it on I knew was going to just be like a nuclear weapon I'm it was gonna set the government back on their heels and I think it did for months and we're always I think we've got a few steps ahead of the government they were just reeling it in quite respond yeah I mean for me it's I mean it's not might usually and I do long form so I usually spend more time you know editing and processing the foreperson in public but we knew we were there to visit there was a time clock ticking we knew the government you know I visited as house and that their was only a matter of time before have been your best right and and and added made the decision that he was going to conceal his identity so it was an obvious choice for me but I remember will be run at the really tied time pressure I mean I think show you a cut on other they are funded the daily published where they've been able for yeah show to cut the show brought you in over my clan we we watch down one version of it and then they gave notes and then we know we sent it to the Guardian to put out million like three in the morning and we're actually didn't know quite what was going to happen easy to see that in the film that you I mean in retrospect we should be prepared a little bit more for the their I yeah permaurl that were you know and having checked in under his own name meant that it was in a take long for journalistic to find a to find him I mean I'm actually surprised in retrospect me see all the chyron Hong Kong England's breaking all the stories that while the journalists and a investigated Jonathan already had heard hopped on a plane to go to hong kong to find out what's happening in hong kong nobody wants ever of me like as big now the stories about the NSA every single day I was on every new show and no one in an eternal its ever thought ass like he we like why are you doing the stories Hong Kong I don't know actually but that's not what happened because I he was on a green screen so you told them not to publish its location say they don't see where I am in need you notice the green screen is just you with some background and then they did the car running actually I think yes CNN agreed not to say that I was going on which they didn't do but they played in the background every single identifiable on landmark wat is CNN the next day and when I when NPR caller somebody and they said we know you're hot lines at how do you know that they said I'll watch your CNN appearance since I D so we know and we knew and I think you know for me when I thought about yours without the hardest part was going to be how to convey the tension to an audience that already knows the outcome but I think one of the things the film did so brilliantly ways it really did underscore we were in that hotel room you know we were just worried about the US government we worried about the chinese authorities and the hong kong government other foreign intelligence services you might wanna get there hands-on but we're working with so there was always hovering over every second in that room that threat that something really cataclysmic I think we're only going to 1 one little clip could stymie is precious but I think we got that mood clip a you guys do you ever been to bill you can grow our unit your pullover ads pretty my game sorry I the obscurity where armies it'll be a picture using american-style we running good 10 winners would be good if they had to brute-force entirety space a arm that would still probably analytical days for an essay that the fire forest sounds like a 37 past whereas trying to call them and ask house it's fine yeah I don't think its mission thing design before maybe the Dominican listen to us feel mile of before known as the person is a yes it is thinking think like in alerting stem I'm unusual me is it goes ok is not continuous donde se if it continues here right yeah what's a sleep for now yeah finish the so not the answer old hi we hear loud buzzing on the 10th floor can you tell us what that is okay okay great thank you by fire alarm testing your here nice isn't it nice of them to let us know about them yes art feeling the they were leaves sleepin in the door you would have been more than happy to just keep working lanyards your dislike whatever seems far documents and discuss we don't worry about buyer I was interested sure that you like so you got a a Edward snowden which there was just like a word in an email how is this guy murdoch in Newham and it the tendency is a if I was making the film would be just squeeze a mic a great were in not were in the room with this guy emerges also in it turns into Hades known show both he in you like you you you set the table and then you made much much bigger movie and so I admire their choice but i just just want to talk about woodrow I mean deny my toolmaking comes out in a cinema verite which he said a film things as they're happening in I didn't want to interrupt and as comeback story questions I figured we would learn everything we wanted to know about him in that moment and I was also just simply interested in the journalism I mean other interested in this what this encounter was gonna be like and and I'd known Glen beforehand film but clan and I knew that the questions he would he was gonna be asking and how he went about simply together was gonna be really extraordinary document about journalism so that's sort of what my my focus was and then I also felt like I mean I was also trying to respect some some boundaries I mean I knew that didn't you know want this to be just about him and and so the also that so do you think she was I'm true to the agreement you mean as collaborators a to tonight not pre- and the call to personality a sell this story yeah I mean the fact that she starts before she focuses on there are many other players game ultimately not the cell me its us small your all is experience revelation suspicion inning me crew his and in the end the aftermath you know really or in you know I'm never really been or other than as that initial mechanism its so fascinating media and this obsessive interest my person my its so much more or men's up there's a moment in the film no when all is unknown you'd lit the fuse you lit the fuse you lit the fuse any say I'm paraphrasing but like there's a great freedom in not knowing what comes next and I just think to myself why would be scared shitless right now on and you literally did not know what was coming knacks it seems like you've landed well and you know you have your partner with you and your say but all that was not know at the time I'm were were were you really as calm as you acted I me win will be still when you watch the whole way through its extraordinary because the stress responses each individual crew year I mean well really dimes were you know were other she she's becomes or camera like many things working stories in for me it was all about transmission information has you know through my we know this but when looking to see you that period there's almost psychological deep personal situation where I'm I got this rain affect just basically breaking down the information journalists in in is because I and kindness and I was going to be Russ in the ocean moons came on we were force said you know once firearms and you know were years along no that whenever someone is arrested in hotel network arrest you in your room or a pre-tax I teach are whether its law enforcement fireworks they say also me rain is your car partner each how rude and that's the plan pulls you out but in the moment you know when I was thinking about you know the second I didn't know it was happening I feel very much like mine or the story who I've done what I need here but you really want to then you knew this size at the apparatus it would all be now now like walking toward you are you know that big from mean machine they tried to make you out to be some some current temp worker for the CIA and it's turned out you general you anyway Road Cincinnati last taxes for janitor you know you a very significant access in every job that you had it so you knew that all be turning toward you you're just like what will be well will be were you worried about him yeah I was really worried I mean I I mean mean when I was shooting there was things like you and ice on the editing room after that for gotten a child you know and I think it said that earlier that everything she couldn't remember me never once it was really pretty high stakes and I think I'd been working on the story for a while I've been like you need the or whatever ID an essay and I think that's right a lot of time dissident can imagine that case that mean really like totally yet been I think II actually you know I think although I'd like to say about the story and I don't wanna be the focus of the story the reality is he is an important part of the story and I think he should be an important part in the story because what he did I mean he's sitting here you're able to see on the screen he wears a sports jacket he appears you know where he's invited to speak but at the time in hong kong not only was it not guarantee that he was gonna and well-liked to speak for myself I thought it was 95 percent certain that he was gonna end up in American custody in be put in a cage for pretty much the rest of his life cap you know sequester the way they they treat national security threat and he thought that was a good possibility to we talked about that and he was sober design to any not resigned to it in and a defeatist way bait know he was just at peace with the choice that he had made there was never a moment where he exhibited any remorse or regret or you know oh shit what have I done a I wish I could take it back and that was simultaneously for me at least so I'm holding you know it was like okay with this person is just sent done something so incredibly fearless and courageous that I think we felt like we had to try and do justice to his choices but we then did but also it was kinda depressing I mean I you know I worked on Chelsea Manning's case for a long time in defending her as sort of a relic it was always a helpless feeling she was put in solitary confinement you knew she was going to prison there was nothing you could do and I felt very much the same for this person for him you know which has done this incredibly admiral thing I get any moment he was gonna end up in shackles and traded or straight into the US government which you know almost always get its way and there were a few times when he came very close to that man it was a little bit of luck but a lot of cunning as well that he was able to end up the way ended up reading at the critical part of the story because it shows people you can stand up to the US government you can take a courageous step that you believe in is an active conscience on and not be disappeared not be put in the cage you can find a way to then live a fulfilling life and I think that's why that part of the story i think is vital for yet did to me you seem to you seem to take take a believe it somehow the more public you were the sea for it was for you APX alarm in not not that there was a sure thing but that was certainly the better side a bad bet it was a big gamble I mean yeah I'ma your yep no everything that was happening in this this period you know we didn't and a real model on whether it was you know journalists with me we're home was your pants when we talk about that moment where is way you know I'm confronting that don't know what's going to happen more I said it's the IEEE normally every day in our lives were confronted with so many choices dewey in Greece are hopeful status quo word research change things rightly world doesn't really change things around we might you I'll choices you know in the sacrifice something against in these situations when you gotta no and what Sam Rosen moon when everybody who's in tell 1 was that actually burn bridges a creek bridge right you world you know doesn't drop gets one way on was ur any part have you add that like when you're stuck Adam Moscow Airport per what was it thirty nine days we said maybe asian ass for travel advice from a guy who's stuck at the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain maybe that wasn't the best travel agent as it turned out it was okay but the did you think to yourself I guess maybe people were lined up to help you I actually love Voice and you know everything lawyers but you know Julian and week since Aaron reusable nasa you think you are Chris some is you know reasonable it's not overall it's a you know I'm incredibly I'm in world the same or the sacrifices they made were but yeah you know there were challenges there we know thanks to some other wearing dark jeans you know the reason our stuff and muscular or had nothing to do with you know advice from lawyers would I didn't do with the US government they didn't cancel lines were until after I had departed home it was in the air you know and I decided based on a network the NSA they have my trial yes you know the she said ask your name lightning this around the world new that I'm Sandra Latin America and strangely they stopped me in which week really hard disorder you know get real me instantly it all Latin America where the incredibly truly to do so we don't have an answer for why yeah it's never their on I thinking mall an here but I have a Dell rose community decides that mean I think Sarah Harrison ticket enormous red to seek political asylum for ed and and I think the Juliana mean I mean we yeah I mean that and what I mean we saw the enough people in the US government threatening him and and so there's the other real with and you know the US government wasn't happy you know with us no discussion about what you know calling us coconspirators in this kind of language mean well I mean you knew your're been intercepted coming into this country forty times before you ever yeah edited a frame yet bill I'm just like saying before you sort of put I mean I think that we also defend the right time in the right to the free press second and yet right you're right that is also targeted so I think we follow in different places in the spectrum into the risk that we willing to take in okay so arlen it a change your way it change the way for people that you a a change you like ginger like in now the great unfolding has happened across America across UK across the globe are you happy with the outcome I mean I you know I agree view I remember the first conversation ever had with Dad way he literally said to me the only thing that I fear is that unravel my life to make all this visible and transparent and that nobody will care it'll just be had this apathy and indifference and you know I remember the moment in hong kong we did the first two or three stories and I was able to watch add watch the global news explode with the stories and felt so gratified and it's basically been like that for the last 18 months I mean if I go around the world as I do with my book or we still do to talk about things are Wars film it makes an extraordinary impact because they'll intensity of the debate that has been triggered not just United States but globally i think is chain consciousness about so many things and that's beyond the concrete changes the companies being forced to you encrypt improve their devoted to privacy so they don't lose a whole generation abusers or individuals using encryption which really puts a wall between the government and surveillance I just think the debate we were able to have that we couldn't have before not just about surveillance but privacy in the digital age and the role of journalism and the dangers government secrecy in the world the United States place in the world when you start changing consciousness like that on it may take a while for it to happen but there's no question that the changes that are engendered will be fundamental that to me is by far the most gratified us I mean I in and everything you know is a couple reduce I wouldn't mind having but I think you know when we were sitting around talking about possible outcomes you know with lawyers I mean sitting here with you was not one of them I'm really really thinking that there is so many potentially that possible outcomes and and to have the the a I think the International where nissen mean we we I think we had no idea hell allied what do you say I did the most skin in the game I everybody involved is P some Boston you know I can Android all yes there there's a lot of things that are out there but it's incredibly says to be hard cell there is a tremendous he's comes from doing and in the day you know we never look back you know I really wish just needed in done because yeah you know as a little bit more difficult now yeah I'll people's would now but he has a tremendous impact no in 2013 courts in the US for San he hears he discussed now explosion or cases all world any been decided upwards see guards is and just bored when we traveling sir ices on individual online much and it was employees %um we names lol no violence and I'll he room a refugee their ways yeah home and trouble arming customs and he did it with out you know alleged wasn't he did this without the authorization so the whole or hymns and he lost his job but it's very likely that you know I mine farm courage walk past if I didn't know I had least some were refugee their know it was almost immediately cancelled this isn't normal bitch you know not at all this Werner person and some mission this is the right in the mood this kind of thing me the people nationally arms position not this is some were resisting you know my status my job my freedom I think the better part gotten better all inline long wanna when the more unusual point film for me is when you talk about the original promise the web and it's almost candor are you tired about the weapon what it could do in the possibilities that up right now in it's been it's been kidnapped it's been overtaken net net are you happy there is a world wide web yeah I mean it's no secret basement your dreams governments around the world arms or trying to plug the Internet over the head permission you know find a place where they can quietly show whole the ocean but the reality is people here about our ability to communicate ins which we out be monitor George some yet and as long as we have that ultimately more women record this is the efforts you did when it comes down to it yes governments possess the beach corner United States in a budget agree around the world there more and we gotta you much more 14 in other countries what in the day there or us then or as long as we work together as long as we value our rights wouldn't more I'm interested in how you see this movie fitting in with your other movies is part of the at triptych my country my country that was nominated for an Academy Award and that was about iraq and the old which is about guantanamo in in this movie do you see them as these this is just kinda stories you're attracted to or do you see it through my there's a 3-1 mean when I went to rock to make that film I never met in the ten years later the still looking at similar themes in the country still you know and the policy that I that I a thinker in a really drifting away from you know moral compass and law and and so I thought it was a temporary emergency moments that you know post-9/11 you know guantanamo opened iraq and that year they didn't imagine it being sitting here ten years later and you know it's interesting than clinton's you know early reporting was also innocent looking at America post-9/11 and you know on one hand its its kinda I it's sad I think that we're still here that for instance guantanamo still open as we sit here and but accidentally citizen for has something hopeful in it and and it's hopeful for me because people basically been doing be courageous and and and say something about what they say is wrong in the world started I think when I think Jeremy Scahill bill Binnie who's in the film mean I love them you know for putting themselves out there to say like we need rethink what I've read what are we doing as a country is do we want to be a country that's defined by how much violence for use in the world re you know one remain closer toward our ideals and and so so there's I do think there's a 3-1 I'm blend you ever are you ever surprised by happen the the documents it had helped get you just pop-up like every single day like the other day did story about it Iran's ability to attack it's like well two actually the end of a snake we we train them in by attacking them yeah I mean the US government up to our on warning about the profound danger zone cyber warfare on even though they're the most aggressive perpetrators cyber warfare by far and and the what prompted that was there is this warning from the pentagon that said were really worried that Iran is becoming increasingly potent another adversaries in their ability to on cyber warfare that I just remembered this document that I had read like nine months ago that I bet to report it just never quite got around to it on where the NSA said oh you know actually the reason why ron is getting so good at cyber warfare is because we just keep attacking them with all the sophisticated virus is that they're able to study in replicate I am and we're kinda you know creating our own adversaries which is what the united states is really good at doing is continuously ensuring that the words fighting find more Mar causes on be no it's funny I remember Frank the first six months after the stories to do everything you know AC interviews and keep Lisa say some you know are there more stories the comment I would you say yeah there's definitely more stories to comment and there be headlines like Glenn Greenwald warned big stories coming as I have like convened a news conference to announce this is something I write some your public greater wrote a thing saying I wish he would stop you know previewing the story but I was just answering the question honestly and I just always wanted to convey that I mean what edwards known has provided is something so vast I mean which are demanding provided with you it was similar for this look at how America fights were from dated a perspective on the ground and and wide on and has provided is this incredibly sweeping complex comprehensive look into how the United States and its allies conducts itself in the world in the things that it does that it hides from the public in a way that it's gonna take good while on before even really big stories are fully reported and their stall I think today reporters without borders put a slight forty ninth in the world in press freedom I we got edged up by bouts 1 I'm pretty sure yeah buts wanna shirley was a few you a me a couple much traffic African countries at the state department has been coming on press freedom grounds robber several spots ahead as well so yeah we r media free world from the rank 49 I'm I'm interested in is dead because you were you were thinking about a mover earlier and you that well let's let's wait and see what Obama is really about and it's like in I was kind of like similar like maybe it's involve me maybe in a is it turns out you know probably the worst administration and terms are transparency the idea ever you know covered and what I wonder about is like you're kind of a spoon did this book's get him a I mean what happened be the intelligence community diana is really really comple Xwill use in in general you know the people who make career until still here president we see who is this guy he's is beyond me years we're here for third right even yet most intelligence president there are some really really is pro warm wants to make sure we're leading the world base values this or abilities those William those in what learns the president is the next president when they come in they're gonna get E as soon as they take the that is designed to steer and they go here almost three streams for foreign to me rain dress begins %um family against people its analyze oh well we will update these everyday you know each day we its own detailed please stop Ian unless you give us new stories we're not certain countries there was a really fascinating exchange in the senate sand and salt where they had the achievable the NCTC National Counterterrorism Center Dianne Feinstein who is certainly knows or munchies my first its user names acting yet don't blame 01 like traitor and things like that that's one momentum you know if you're not willing to be calls and that means to serve your country you know here much countries you know room remains but ultimately a she she had this in CTC under from user torture she said well in men's on torture use this threat assessment it said this I is going you know organizers is going to kill if you release this report in a backlash against as you proven that were and she had a literal chamber and I'm paraphrasing she's she's roseanne sky has a all and he explains and he hems almost goes for all these bureaucratic excuses and ultimately it boils down to isolate WPI which was ones this is her is commonly he he didn't say process was wrong because that undermines our company don't you he can't say it was right because him winds but this happens every day to a new president that's kinda what happens they this were regardless their intent the they have embraced the brilliance this us know access all this information don't feel bad about you previous positions because you didn't know US's information but now I'm you and you know you make the incidence easy for people to just not bad it just means look these are people who are very good doing this for sixty years in I as a as a community indeed his reply the problems when we look at a a person's who is they came in office as well meanwhile you know this is an as well surveillance without warrants not a good thing but in the East Indies policies for example eyes and are 2000 a in we've got now allows war lists general want somebody to you got it while number when they have these things they don't do anything about them how do we explain that the most frustrating thing for me now is is the fact that the president has the power is executive eighteens and these this is not required by law even close own home strong an he and miss months more so and you know your comment something all were hoping for a while we don't need law yemenese think around you the president all people countries not want to stand up for our rights welcome this message does this send citizens children people around the world about 10 rebounds really mean to our this is the last thing on I just wanna say be the since 2013 are not and its on not and on tells you and a certain amount anything there in is a mini ru me since these problems means longer real or the we see that attention got it I'm I wonder if this program where you open with clapper over and over saying because you you wonder I'm not like go and I don't miss who are elected government is out to screw it said every turn a usually ends up being right but I'm still can is sticking with what I got bud I'm bed I dot party what you're trying to do is say this is the information we're getting they're getting is clapper over and over seen something we know manifest I mean yeah I mean the beginning in the film lay the contacts not just in time government was saying or the lies government telling but also what was happening in the legal round mean you have the the you know the government arguing that everything is a state secret you can talk about this is a case of jewel the NSA which is litigation that's been in in the courts for years now and and the government but has been doing to try to block any challenges to its policies just basically declared state secrets and and so the beginning the film's title set up the context it also sets the context you know what is it you know what happens with the words may come forward in a meet William Binney who is you don't get any higher than the technical director the NSA and you know what what our government did to him you know that under investigation his house with guns and so so that's kinda what the the beginning in the film's trying to do not just make it about this one particular but what was the context in which you know when we arrive in this meeting in Hong Kong what sets the stage and adding the happening so quickly is one of the things I think does go off sometimes in this debate is people tend to frame it as a debate about privacy and that this survey on stage subverts the right to privacy and obviously does do that on but what it really does I think were before that is that it subverts democracy on BK is what you have is a government doing its most consequential policies not but all the key with all the details being this close but even the broad strokes are you have the government decided to turn the internet into a venue a mass surveillance to essentially collect the entire Internet to troll through whatever they want without even uttering a peep to the American public about it not something that always amazes me about the attacks on snowed in and are reporting is you know I can kinda see a reasonable debate if you're using like a really broad definition of what's reasonable overpass surveillance like if someone wants to say you know I think it's a really good thing for the government to monitor everybody's communication in to conserve the palace under a microscope I'm gonna disagree but I can at least understand that debate that there's a debate about that what I can understand any debate over is whether or not it's a good thing that we now know about the government doing these things so that we can debate Saikia ever imagine anybody saying actually think it's better if we had remained completely ignorant up all the things that our government is doing in yet that to me implicitly is what the people who criticize Edward snowed in our reporting are essentially arguing even though they train just end up in in less ridiculous costumes is we would have preferred to have remained as ignorant as we were prior to 2013 about all the things our government was doing at that to me is unreasonable that's also there's I think that there's a there's this fast so wall I don't have anything to hide night I i've seen you go at this before really spill your email for me I'm coming over to your house to look through your stuff child let me put video camera think about them in your bedroom i just uploaded to the Internet you know well people react first public call the police if you really like pursue that you know rights away but even just intellectually people instinctively find the idea of Palin because everyone knows that there's a value to you we all have things to hide their things that we only tell our spouses are best friends are physicians are lawyers are psychologist that we don't want anyone to know about not just those among us who are terrorists or criminals but all of us on the realm of privacy is critical to human freedom to political activism it's something that we always sought out in every way and basically but the people are saying you say you know I have anything to hide is they're saying I've agreed to turn myself into such a submissive compliant an interesting person that I don't actually think the government's interested in me and they're frightening to hide that in itself is an extraordinary damage that you accept that bar again that that bargain even exist but I think for all of us just the knowledge that we might be watched at every given moment is very psychologically damaging it means that we really significantly narrow the options human behavior that we think are available and is another's point out limit speech just by its practice right I'm I'm interested in having just one brief consumer moment here in addition to be in when leading filmmakers have our time grads and you know how big security expert you have consulted with the NSA and with the their CT 0 in the CIA's Cpl land you're more you and I have a little bit more in cairo not you can write what are we supposed to be doing are we supposed to be but not everything what everybody here is watching your movie in seeing what this isn't this isn't about me is that and yet I mean people should be a meanie much people can use means to to secure their their their communication right now and so you can download the the Tor browser which is available to a cryptid web browsers if you wanna search the web for anything you know one be connected to your IP address down tour it's free it's made by people who you know devote their their energy to to keeping the internet a free place and you can also it there's text secure if you want your your in you text messages to to be encrypt it then download text secure also free is you know there's a free software movement that's been building tools for a long time and they're available for all about everybody in the room and another yeah I Robinson I mean it's kinda similar thing I is a very technical in which are to get d ins like yes but Brian yep for my might but when Larson's right general you have to primary its when you talk about Jones election on on the ball bases on the island or mass is the most important is transport levels you sent a text message goes across own network you know you know those waters Hong Kong and they give all day information to Intel's is no are so what we're saying is protect that transmission are you got she said text secure and you're a person SMS messages free you got rent some remains York all your re yes say no is the name the program word I West him writer in your contacts on Apple these are all you know it takes 30 seconds for rosa which is great transferable securities you have to remember that if the government aren't you specifically they won't just exchanges across the internet get on and is any telephone device or on your computer at home hell in your Samsung TV things have they're listening to use it sits in your living room I'm what we need to do me to create standards that protect we meetin worst we need worse our rights not just letters on each war through the systems that surrounds everyday your line and Wii problem with the to stand up and say we're gonna is on systems in such a way me are we're giving I'll the ability knowingly undermine rights we're not missing the government you know has no ability to investigate organs that in common yeah that's not us is the company's up to the customer themselves to sell themselves I'm really was investigating Hill I'm are just gonna chill all the moms in the audience for a sec so you're your your in Russian now you're able stayed for three years right right so are you getting enough to eat is the food good you look good thanks yeah I know I'm my life is a is changed a lot were a lot more a lot harder now the world previous jobs actually a pretty easy you collect hi H Road work but the now the even working more once more that's something that is is sends units at the end of the day as as long as I he relationships had people work things that matter to me up well I know you probably have an ungodly hour we're a in these guys are in between screens their film you all took time off to get with us I know we're just thrilled that you came was we had so much fun thanks a bunch and
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