“Citizenfour”: Snowden’s Odyssey into Privacy and Surveillance

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In the annals of privacy battles, Edward Snowden stands as an unlikely hero, a figure who thrust himself into the limelight with a cascade of classified NSA documents in 2013. The documentary “Citizenfour” by Laura Poitras provides a riveting lens into Snowden’s world, attempting to unravel the enigma behind the man who shook the foundations of global surveillance. Let’s dive into the gripping narrative that unfolds, exploring the revelations, the real threat exposed, and the dire warnings that echo through Snowden’s remote life in Moscow.

The Unassuming Protagonist

In the prelude to the Snowden saga, few knew of the unassuming IT security contractor, a former CIA employee leading a quiet life. Fast forward to June 2013, and the world witnessed a seismic shift as Snowden leaked a trove of classified NSA documents. Branded a villain and revolutionary in equal measure, he staunchly declares, “I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.”

Behind the Lens: Poitras and “Citizenfour”

Laura Poitras, present in Hong Kong during Snowden’s revelations, embarked on a journey with journalist Glenn Greenwald and Guardian journalist Ewen McAskill to meet the elusive whistleblower. The documentary unfolds the skepticism they harbored, gradually transforming into a quest to understand the implications of Snowden’s disclosure. “Citizenfour” is not just a film; it’s an attempt to provide context, letting Snowden’s own voice resonate about the leaks and their significance.

The Real Threat: Unraveling Government Surveillance

Snowden’s revelations pierced the veil of government surveillance, starting with the revelation of PRISM, granting access to citizens’ accounts on major platforms. The narrative delves into GCHQ, the NSA’s British partner, and the Tempora project, intercepting data from Internet backbone cables. Telecomms giant Verizon was also implicated in a secret court order to hand over phone records daily. Despite governmental attempts to brand him a traitor, polls show 55 percent of Americans support Snowden’s exposure of PRISM and similar programs.

Snowden’s Message from Moscow

Currently residing in Moscow, Snowden extends his stay as a symbol of privacy advocacy. His message echoes through the wires and digital spaces: citizens must safeguard their privacy. Urging the abandonment of platforms like Dropbox, Facebook, and Google, Snowden underscores the importance of protecting personal data. In a world where privacy seems increasingly elusive, Snowden’s plea finds resonance — a call to preserve the sanctity of individual privacy rights.

The VPN Solution: Navigating the Online Wilderness

As Snowden’s voice resonates, a practical solution emerges for those concerned about online privacy — a secure VPN. In a landscape fraught with government programs, malicious actors, and corporate surveillance, a VPN becomes a shield. With ForestVPN, we offer not just anonymity but speed and global access, empowering users to browse without compromising their right to privacy. It’s a simple yet powerful antidote to the vulnerabilities of the digital realm.

Conclusion: Never Surrender Your Right to Privacy

Love him or hate him, Snowden’s central point remains steadfast — never surrender your right to privacy. In a world where digital footprints are meticulously tracked, preserving privacy becomes an act of defiance. As “Citizenfour” unravels the layers of Snowden’s story, it leaves us with a poignant reminder — the battle for privacy is ongoing, and every individual must actively defend their right to a private digital existence.


1. Why did Snowden choose Laura Poitras for the meeting?

Snowden reached out to Laura Poitras after she produced a documentary about another NSA whistleblower, William Binney. Poitras’ commitment to truth-telling and her previous work in the realm of government surveillance made her an ideal ally for Snowden.

2. What were the key revelations by Snowden about government surveillance?

Snowden exposed the PRISM program, granting the U.S. government access to citizens’ accounts on major platforms. He also revealed the collaboration between the NSA and GCHQ, the Verizon court order for phone records, and the interception of internet data through the Tempora project.

3. Where is Edward Snowden currently residing, and why?

Snowden is living in Moscow with his girlfriend, and his temporary visa has been extended for another three years.

4. How does Snowden suggest citizens protect their privacy?

Snowden advises against using platforms like Dropbox, Facebook, and Google, emphasizing the need for individuals to actively protect their privacy. He champions the use of secure tools, like VPNs, to navigate the online landscape without compromising personal data.

5. Why is “Citizenfour” considered essential in understanding Snowden’s story?

The documentary goes beyond the headlines, providing context and allowing Snowden to speak for himself.

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