‘CitizenFour’: Are YOU on watchlist of 1.2 million Americans?

Snip from film trailer for CitizenFour. [Snip: blogs.indiewire.com]

Snip from film trailer for CitizenFour. [Snip: blogs.indiewire.com]

The new film CitizenFour will revive debates about Americans’ legal rights and limits on government powers to snoop. How valid, in the age of perpetual Wars on Terror, is the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution?

Based on early reviews from media who have previewed the film, many of us—especially those of us who write about government issues—will come away with one question:

Am I on the watchlist of 1.2 million Americans?

Filmmaker Laura Poitras’ CitizenFour premiered at the New York Film Festival on Friday. 

Poitras’ film includes scenes from journalist Glen Greenwald’s  interview of Edward Snowden in Moscow (Russia). Americans continue to debate whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor.

The Hollywood Reporter indicated an explosive revelation is also covered in CitizenFour—“that another government whistleblower — higher in rank than Snowden — has come forward.”

Many of us would never, when we were young, have believed that a whistleblower would flee to Moscow from the US for refuge.

Criticism of government spying predates the current terror effort, but technology has made it possible for the government to intrude on what many of us believe is an unprecedented level. President George W. Bush, a Republican, was roundly criticized by Democrats for intruding on the privacy of Americans as well as for enhanced interrogation techniques. President Barack Obama campaigned on those issues, promising change.

Obama, however, not only followed many practices of his predecessor, he expanded them. Obama has also expanded the use of drones, diluted transparency of government, and openly attacked the press, with Democrats in Congress concurring. Even progressive media outlets have expressed concern.

President Bill Clinton actually laid the groundwork for much of today’s domestic spying when Democrats held the House and the Senate in 1994 when the  Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) was passed.

Featured Image: Snip from film trailer for CitizenFour. [Snip: blogs.indiewire.com]

(Filed by Kay B. Day/Oct. 11, 2014)

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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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