In the days ahead, as we reappraise Edward Snowden's complicated legacy, now two years old -- and as Congress considers a package of sensible NSA reforms -- what's called for is a dose of clear-eyed realism, an appetite for nuance, and a high tolerance for uncertainty.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is playing "beat the clock" when it comes to the continued authorization of the NSA accumulation of phone data of US citizens. June 1 is the deadline and there is no consensus on how to go forward.
Everyone who has an opinion on the Edward Snowden revelations should watch this film. Everyone who has an opinion on the USA PATRIOT Act should tune in. Disturbed by the National Security Agency's actions? Check your local listings for when the PBS show Independent Lens airs. I say all this, mind you, before I've even seen the film.
I am honored to present exclusive audio of a Q&A with Citizenfour Director Laura Poitras, which took place as part of the Talking Pictures program at the 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Congress has four days left in its current session to decide whether to reauthorize Section 215, amend it or let it die a natural death on June 1, 2015 (the date on which it will sunset if not reauthorized).
As a child, I can remember thinking how odd it was to imagine having technology know what you're thinking and doing at all times.
When it comes to the 2016 field of Republican presidential candidates, the rule of thumb this time around is obviously going to be "the more, the merrier!" The number of officially-announced Republican candidates actually doubled this week.
What does it mean for "tangible things" to be "relevant" to an "authorized investigation"? The government argued that this language authorized the NSA to collect metadata if at any future time the records might become "relevant" to an "authorized" criminal investigation.
The current sunset debate is our first opportunity as a society to grapple with the mass-surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden, and we can't afford to let this opportunity pass us by.
While focusing on liberal arts is definitely important to teach our children, John Oliver's uncovering of Americans ill-informed comprehension of the Internet proves we need to place computer science at the same core level as math, science, history and reading.
As long as the war on terror exists, there will be a need for the Patriot Act. In all likelihood, this is simply the world we live in now. There are, however, aspects of the Patriot Act that are undeniably in need of revision.
I never met Edward Snowden, but I did know quite a bit about Aaron Swartz. In fact, he worked for me, for a period of time, a few years ago. And he was brilliant, as you'll see for yourself. I'm sure that whatever this film may say about him, it can barely do justice to what a special human being he was.
Factual information is out of fashion. American society now devalues it. Subjective attitude and opinion are considered to be as worthy as accurate renderings of reality. Many wear their ignorance as a badge of honor.
As someone who was raised in a family of atheists (and whose father taught high school science), I often find myself standing on the sidelines as hordes of true believers abandon all objectivity and embrace a new technology, a cherished sport, or a form of corporate mythology with gusto.
The free flow of information is necessary for a democratic society, and this flow cannot be purely in the hands of government. This is why the rights to expression and a free and open press are among the most widely recognized rights on earth.
Washington is now well into the second decade of an endless War on Terror that seems the sum of its exceptions to international law: endless incarceration, extrajudicial killing, pervasive surveillance, drone strikes in defiance of national boundaries and torture on demand.