Congratulations to Laura Poitras and her team for winning an Oscar for Best Documentary! Her film is truly unprecedented.
Laura lists SecureDrop (the whistleblower submission platform originally developed by Aaron Swartz and Kevin Poulsen) in the credits of tools she used during the making of Citizen Four.
Ed Snowden is legally represented by the ACLU. (See his statement on the film winning here, and also reprinted below.) He is on the Board of Directors of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the organization that picked up SecureDrop’s development, at Kevin Poulsen’s request, after Aaron’s death.
Garrett Robinson, Lead Developer of SecureDrop, presented at last year’s Aaron Swartz Day (video). Here’s a relevant interview with Garrett Robinson from last year about why SecureDrop is so important for a functioning democracy.
The purpose of SecureDrop is to provide a secure, anonymous platform where citizens can upload information to a news organization, but without having to potentially put their whole life at risk in the process. There are now 15 SecureDrop implementations all over the world!
Here’s the ACLU press release:
The following is a statement from Edward Snowden provided to the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents him:
“When Laura Poitras asked me if she could film our encounters, I was extremely reluctant. I’m grateful that I allowed her to persuade me. The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honor and recognition it has received. My hope is that this award will encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world.”
Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, had this reaction:
“Laura’s remarkable film has helped fuel a global debate on the dangers of mass surveillance and excessive government secrecy. The ACLU could not be more delighted that she has been recognized with an Academy Award.”
The ACLU’s petition asking President Obama to grant clemency to Snowden is at:
Information on government spying is at:
Help Protect The Next Aaron Swartz (ACLU Petition)