Normally this blog does not go into political matters but it is based in the United States. Today we celebrate our independence. But lately this has been challenged by unlimited snooping of our federal government. The Fourth Amendment clearly outlaws warrantless surveillance.
AMENDMENT IV to the Constitution of the United States: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Alex Marthews writes on Boston.com, “The Founders did not fight for a country where the security agencies “quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type”, as one NSA agent has put it. They would rightly call the NSA’s surveillance programs, covered by fake “warrants” and approved en masse by secret courts, a tyranny and a farce.”
How does this effect filmmaking and photography you ask. It effects all privacy, in our communication, in our use of the internet, in our creativity, in our budgets, in our works.
The NSA through the PRISM program has made privacy a thing of the past. Through the leaks of information we know now that big brother is watching us in the name of combating terrorism. They are creating terrorism. All the mainstream news stories (only 5 big media companies in the US) are about the leaker and not what he has revealed. The sad part about all of this is that a majority of those polled don't seen too concerned about this loss of freedom.
How do we know that in the future that the government intercepts an email about a documentary critiquing the government won't be stopped and the people responsible for it thrown in jail without due process like the prison in Guantánamo. That is being done in the name of terrorism.
How would you ask this unlikely documentary scenario ever happen?
When I was a journalism student, there was a documentary film produced by a local TV station in Los Angeles. The producer was a national Emmy winner which is unusual for a local station. The documentary was narrated by the actor Jack Lemmon. The doc, “The Powers That Be” was a critical look at nuclear power. This was the first doc to look at the down side of nuclear power. Up to this point there had been not programs critical of nuclear power. The doc was shown only once on TV. Pacific Gas and Electric (which has the now to be shut down nuclear power plant at San Onofre) was a commercial sponsor at the station at the time.
The producer's Emmy was turned around at the TV station so you could not see the name of the producer. When it was being shown at a screening it was stopped in the middle and never officially shown again. I could not find anything on the internet about this project or at the internet movie database. Nothing in Jack Lemmon's bio either. How do I know this doc ever existed? I saw Jack Lemmon's personal print at a secret screening.
All the mainstream media did not touch this NSA and PRISM story except the Washington Post. It was actually started by The Guardian, a British newspaper. According to the revelations, our big internet companies complied. Who, do we trust?
We must go fourth and protect the fourth amendment and our independence.