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Snowden; Big Brother is watching

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Snowdenfilm.com

Snowdenfilm.com

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The internet has become something today’s society cannot live without. It’s all around us, from stores, restaurants, homes, to our pockets. We’re consumed with being in touch with technology. We put all our photos, videos and private information on our phones, computers and websites, thinking that our information is safe and private. It feels like a world of our own, but did you know others can feasibly access all of that information without your permission, and watch what you do on a daily basis?

Privacy is what everyone wants, and assumes they have, but a man named Edward Snowden decided to expose what a myth that assumption is. The movie Snowden was based on a true story about a former contractor for the NSA Edward Snowden, who allegedly and illegally downloaded thousands of classified documents revealing what the U.S. government was actually doing with their power. Glenn Greenwald, a journalist for The Guardian newspaper, and Laura Poitras, a director and producer of documentary films, were also involved in helping Snowden release the documents to the public.

Snowden was released on Sep 16, 2016 and was directed by Oliver Stone, who is also known for movies such as Scarface, Savages and Wall Street. The movie made $23.10 million in the box office, and was marketed as a dramatic thriller film. The cast of the film is comprised of seasoned actors like, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden, Shailene Woodley as Lindsay Mills and Zachary Quinto as Glenn Greenwald.

The film follows the journey of Edward Snowden from when he was first hired to work for the NSA, through what he experienced while working on different projects, to how he ultimately decided to release top secret information, and figure out how he would release it to the public. While the movie goes in depth into what Edward Snowden did while working for the NSA, it also depicts aspects of his personal life, like living with his medical condition of epilepsy and what he went through in his relationship with girlfriend Lindsey Mills.

On the other hand, ‘Snowden’ offers detailed descriptions about programs and operations the government was reportedly using like PRISM, a massive technological surveillance program orchestrated by the NSA. The program collects information and internet communications from at least nine major US internet companies and analyzes that data for patterns of terrorist or other potential criminal activities. The film also shows the vast majority of places where Snowden worked, it included the National Security Agency (NSA), Dell Computer Company and Booz Allen Hamilton a strategy and technology consulting firm for the U.S. government.

The film also humanizes Snowden and creates a greater understanding of the mindset of a man who was villianized by many in this county. Director Oliver Stone really brings us into the mind of Edward Snowden. You empathize with the outrage and shock he experiences when he witnessed the government invading the privacy of U.S. citizens and abusing this information and power. With all the suspense building up, you really felt present with him while he takes a huge personal risk for the people being exploited or targeted by PRISM. Somehow, Stone also makes this process entertaining as the tension builds and you watch his plan to release the secret documents unfold in front of you.

Throughout the movie I noticed that much of the language used was too sophisticated for most teens and that some situations were too complex as well. For the average American who doesn’t work in a technology field or has limited knowledge about government surveillance programs, film writers could have done a better job to translate the technical language and situations into something more approachable. Overall ‘Snowden’ is a good movie to see, for many reasons. It received mostly positive reviews from most critics, though some bashed it for the films inaccuracies. I recommend seeing it while in theaters because the big screen allows you to really get the feeling of being involved in the movie but if you happen to miss it you can buy it off of Amazon or wait for it to hit red box, but you should really try to see the movie as soon as possible. Although the film is based off the events that transpired in 2013, you still feel a part of it today and if you were following the story while it occurred. If you are interested in the importance of how the government can invade your personal privacy, and misuse their power and technology then I recommend that you would be the perfect person to see this movie.

 

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Snowden; Big Brother is watching