It was one of the most unique and interesting fall movie seasons in recent memory. First, there was the incredible success of Blackhat, the story of a computer hacker who conspires to become the world’s greatest spy. Then, just a few short days later, we got the news that the highly anticipated release date for Snowden had been pushed back yet again. As the world anxiously waited for the highly anticipated release of the NSA whistleblower’s film, the question on everyone’s mind was this: What is Edward Snowden doing for the next few months?
Well, the answer is surprisingly simple. As exciting as it is to watch Snowden’s life unfold on the big screen, it’s even more exciting to follow his every move from the comfort of your home. Fortunately, we at Cosmo have you covered. With our comprehensive Edward Snowden movie guide, you’ll have everything you need to know about this historic figure, including where you can watch his films and when. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be inspired. Let’s dive in.
Who Is Edward Snowden?
Edward Snowden is a man who stood up for what he believed in, even when it wasn’t popular to do so. A contractor for the CIA and NSA, Snowden fled the United States in May 2013 after stealing and leaking classified documents to journalist Glenn Greenwald and, later, E.W. Jackson. The information he provided helped lead to the release of the infamous ‘Vault 7′ documents, which revealed the existence of a secret CIA hacking program.
In July 2013, Snowden released a statement explaining his actions. “I understand that I have the right to remain silent under threat of perjury. I also understand that I have the right to seek legal counsel before deciding whether or not to speak,” he said. “However, I have a duty to protect my sources, and as a result, I must decide whether or not to remain silent despite the penalties that I know I could face.”
The documents he stole and leaked exposed some of the darkest aspects of the U.S. government’s surveillance apparatus and, as a result, became a highly sensitive issue for global leaders. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel was asked in an interview about the effect of Snowden’s leaks, she replied, “In my view, the information about the…massive surveillance, which was presented in the press, had an impact on people’s minds.” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper added that “The disclosure of classified information and the use of this information to manipulate public opinion and impact policy decisions is indeed a matter of concern.”
Many people, especially in the U.S., saw Snowden as a traitor. However, Snowden’s approach was to reveal what he believed in, even if it wasn’t popular, and to not back down from his beliefs. In August 2013, Snowden released a statement responding to critics who described him as a traitor. “I don’t think that is a fair description at all,” he said. “To be clear, I did not sell any secrets to anybody. I did not give any high-level information to any foreign government. What I did was I provided insight and hard facts that would otherwise not be available to the public. That is not a traitorous act. That is just an act of journalism.”
Why Did Edward Snowden Go To Hong Kong?
As we mentioned, Snowden fled the United States and sought asylum in a number of countries. However, he eventually settled in Hong Kong, where he remains in exile, for quite some time. Hong Kong is a special place for whistleblowers, particularly since it has a history of protecting those who stand up for human rights and exposing government corruption. In addition, the city’s government has an independent judiciary, meaning that it’s unlikely Snowden would be persecuted for his actions. Finally, the territory had a record number of asylum applications in 2013, so he would have a good chance of being granted political asylum. In July 2013, Hong Kong Governor Patten described the city’s relationship with whistleblowers in an interview. “What we are seeing is a real challenge to our system. Often you will have people coming from a background of privilege, with lots of money, who want to protect their identity,” he said. “We want to make sure that those with legitimate grievances can express themselves without fear of repercussions. We certainly don’t want to stifle debate and freedom of speech.”
What Does Edward Snowden’s Existence Mean For Journalists?
Snowden’s existence is a testament to the importance of the Fourth Estate, as journalists stand as guardians of democracy. However, because of the highly classified nature of his leaks and the considerable controversy they caused, Snowden’s actions also have serious implications for journalists. Federal prosecutor Jennifer Solheim noted this when she argued that Snowden should be charged with treason. “Definitely, his actions endangered national security and his own security. But I think the fact that he is a whistleblower and, more importantly, that he is a journalistic whistleblower who was doing his job, that places him in a different category,” she said.
As a result of Snowden’s actions, journalists now face a dilemma. On the one hand, they want to protect their source’s identity, but on the other, they want to ensure that the public knows what is going on. If they publish the name of their source, they could put their own job security in jeopardy. In fact, the New York Times faced a similar situation when it revealed the identity of former CIA agent and officer in the NSA Kevin Mallory, although it wasn’t in relation to an invasion of privacy like Snowden’s. When asked in an interview about the possibility of journalists being charged with treason for revealing sources and methods, Times executive editor Dean Baquet replied, “Yes, I think there is a real question about that.”
What Is The International Reaction To His Actions?
When Canadian journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote an article about Snowden in June 2013, he mentioned that China, Russia, and Belarus had already attempted to get Snowden expelled from Hong Kong. “I understand that there have been additional requests from North Korea and Syria, but those efforts have been unsuccessful so far,” he wrote. “Snowden thinks that the U.S. government is still tracking him and that he might be arrested at any moment. China, Russia, and the U.S. have all placed sanctions on him, and he doesn’t have enough money to pay for his lawyers’ fees.”
The international response to Snowden has been, overall, very positive. Indeed, many have praised his courage and stated that his disclosures helped bring to light some extremely disturbing government activities. However, even those who strongly disapprove of his actions have acknowledged that his revelations made some matters visible that had previously been hidden from public view. The U.S., Canada, the U.K., and other Western nations have revoked his passport, placing him under considerable diplomatic pressure. However, that has not prevented him from continuing to receive widespread support (and a fair bit of intrigue) from around the world.
Where Can I Watch Edward Snowden’s Movies?
It’s time to find somewhere to watch some exciting movies, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood intelligence operative. Fortunately, we at Cosmo have you covered. With our comprehensive Edward Snowden movie guide, you’ll have everything you need to know about this historic figure, including where you can watch his films and when.
You can start by checking out the new Edward Snowden documentary titled The Price Of Silence. This movie is currently only available to Netflix subscribers in the United States, though, and has been described as “an intimate portrayal of the complexities of modern life.” While it doesn’t add much new information to what we know about the fugitive data analyst, it does give viewers the opportunity to get to know him more intimately than we ever have before. The film also includes interviews with key global leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former NSA Director Keith Alexander. It also features never-before-seen footage of Snowden himself watching the documentary he helped produce about his own life.
If you want to learn more about the life and career of Edward Snowden, check out our comprehensive biographical Lexicon, which provides you with all the necessary terms and background information you need to know. Alternatively, you can read our full coverage of the man who called himself ‘The PRISM General.’ What have you got planned for next year? We’ve got some exciting developments in store, including more interesting revelations from the elusive Snowden. So sit back, relax, and get ready to be inspired. Let’s dive in.