Posts Tagged ‘surveillance’

NSA emails on Enemy of the State

Published February 8th 2017

Paranoid thriller Enemy of the State provoked such a reaction within the NSA that they instigated a large PR campaign to counter public perceptions of a surveillance agency running wild. NSA emails show that even while the movie was being made, agency employees were unhappy about the producers filming from the skies over Fort Meade. They also show that the NSA were asked to provide help on the production, but refused.

ClandesTime 096 – Unreal

Published January 8th 2017

Unreal is a gripping and brutal satire of reality TV but it is much more than that. While this might sound like a drama about a trivial subject, the content of Unreal makes it one of the most serious and important TV series of recent years. It follows two female producers as they make a romance-themed reality show, highlighting the degree to which they’re willing to manipulate the contestants in order to produce ‘good TV’. The psychological and moral impact of this on the production crew – particularly the junior producer Rachel – is quite awful, and she rebounds between depression and megalomania as a result. This week we take a deeper look at this series, examining its commentary on what constitutes ‘entertaiment’ and how that is made, through its complex politics of gender and race to the constant use and subversion of stereotypes.

Jimi Hendrix FBI File

Published January 3rd 2017

The FBI’s file on James Marshall Hendrix aka Jimi Hendrix is a brief but entertaining example of the Bureau having too much time on their hands and not enough to do. After Hendrix was arrested in Toronto in 1969 ‘after a quantity of marijuana was found in his shaving kit’ the Canadian authorities asked the FBI for help finding an excuse to deport him. Hoover’s men duly obliged, though they found virtually nothing.

Watergate etc. – Tom Secker on Porkins Policy Radio

Published September 8th 2016

Pearse invited me back onto his new radio show to discuss my recent piece on Three Days of the Condor and some of the alternative history of Watergate. We get into the infamous picture of Robert Redford and Richard Helms and ask why the CIA were monitoring Helms’ on set appearance during the filming of Condor, given the film’s very negative portrait of the Agency. We move onto Watergate, the subject of a recent news story that provided confirmation that Eugenio Martinez – one of the burglars – was a CIA agent at the time of the break in. The death of J Edgar Hoover and the role of the CIA’s liaison to the Plumbers John Paisley forms the basis for a sideways look at the Watergate situation, and we also ruminate on the similarities with what is happening today with Clinton and the DNC leaks.