Although we were unable to finish Citizen Four this past week in class there are many things that could tie into the #paris discussion. Under the codename “Citizenfour”, former NSA intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who first made contact with filmmaker Lauren Poitras, sought her help in exposing proof of the government’s indiscriminate gathering and processing of U.S. citizens’ emails, cell-phone conversations, bank accounts and digital transactions. Citizenfour gives the audience a firsthand look at the meeting between Poitras, journalist Glenn Greenwald and U.K. intelligence reporter Ewen MacAskill over eight days in a Hong Kong hotel room. Charged with violating the Espionage Act, Snowden in shown owning up to his personal responsibility by showing  that the public has a moral right to the know the widespread extent to which the government, cloaked in the defense of monitoring global terrorism, is spying on its citizens. In terms of our class and the discussion on the implications of private communication apps, such as Telegraph, Poitras uses the cold language of data encryption to recount a dramatic saga of abuse of power and justified paranoia, artistically demonstrating that information is a weapon that cuts both ways. 


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