snearch + profession + tor   1

Laura Poitras on the Crypto Tools That Made Her Snowden Film Possible | WIRED
As a journalist, Laura Poitras was the quiet mastermind behind the publication of Edward Snowden’s unprecedented NSA leak. As a filmmaker, her new movie Citizenfour makes clear she’s one of the most important directors working in documentary today. And when it comes to security technology, she’s a serious geek.

In the closing credits of Citizenfour, Poitras took the unusual step of adding an acknowledgment of the free software projects that made the film possible: The roll call includes the anonymity software Tor, the Tor-based operating system Tails, the anonymous upload system SecureDrop, GPG encryption, Off-The-Record (OTR) encrypted instant messaging, hard disk encryption software Truecrypt, and GNU Linux. All of that describes a technical setup that goes well beyond the precautions taken by most national security reporters, not to mention documentary filmmakers.


“No amount of violence can solve a math problem.”

Poitras’ caution is echoed in the movie’s narrative. In intimate scenes she recorded with Snowden in his Hong Kong hotel room—the core of her film—she shows him worrying that the VoIP deskphone in his room has been turned into a bug. He chides Glenn Greenwald for using a too-short password, dons a blanket over his head and laptop to enter his own passphrase (Snowden jokingly calls it his “magical mantel of power”) and freezes up when a fire alarm test interrupts their work, suspecting foul play. Still, Poitras says that none of that was meant to portray Snowden as paranoid. “I wouldn’t describe anything that Snowden recommends in that hotel room as paranoia,” she says. “When your adversary is the NSA, that’s not paranoid.”

But despite her dark assessment of the NSA’s reach, Poitras argues that Snowden’s ability to stay out of the agency’s grasp shows the power of cryptography. She quotes the cypherpunk mantra that cryptography levels the playing field between the individual and the government; it represents a math problem that no amount of authoritarian force can solve. “I do think that so long as we can maintain the ability for crypto not to be backdoored, there’s a way for people to communicate securely,” she says.

“I have a lot of respect for the cypherpunk movement,” she adds. “The free software community should be supported more widely. I’m totally in solidarity with what they do.”
Snowden_Edward  Security  Encryption  Poitras_Laura  Regisseure  Linux  GPG  OTR  Tor  SecureDrop  TrueCrypt  Tails  Citizenfour  Film  TOP  Inspiration  Profession  Cypherpunk  Machtmittel  freedom  cryptography_levels_the_playing_field_between_the_individual_and_the_government 
february 2015 by snearch

Copy this bookmark: