The CIA and Hollywood episode 4 Enemy of The State

Good friend Adam joins us to discuss the 1998 action thriller Enemy of the State, and its unprecedented ‘revelation’ of surveillance technology.  We talk about how the film has a rogue’s gallery of technical advisers – including Chase Brandon and Marty Keiser – and how this led to one of the most spectacular depictions of the NSA and the spy state in general.  Following from this we analysed the likely purpose in the CIA masking themselves as the NSA in the film, and how this has scuppered the progress of any serious dialogue about mass surveillance.

Download The CIA and Hollywood ep. 4

Show notes:

Enemy of The State (1998)

Making of Enemy of The State

The Fresh Prince and the CIA

Marty Kaiser (personal website)

Enemy of the State Baltimore Sun (?) article

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Comments

  • Jimmy Dijkstra  On April 24, 2015 at 4:01 am

    Excellent conversation. One important point of disagreement I have with Tom Secker —

    The “web crawler used for data colllection” part of the Snowden story is entirely plausible. A network admin with programming knowledge could easily write a script to harvest shared documents. I know this because I can do this myself. I can explain it to you as well, if you want.

    Not getting caught is trickier, but possible with enough care.

    At least the part of the story where Snowden exfiltrates all that data without help — as a coder and a network admin, I consider plausible.

    As for the other parallels to Hackman’s character, they are curious indeed.

    • tom  On May 3, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      I’m not disputing that a network admin could do such a thing – just not in the NSA because documents aren’t just sat there waiting be to scooped up by a crawling bot.

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