Posts Tagged ‘surveillance’

When the Producers of Downton Abbey Signed the Official Secrets Act

When the Producers of Downton Abbey Signed the Official Secrets Act

Just like other government departments the Foreign & Commonwealth Office requires film and TV producers to sign contracts with them to provide production assistance.  The agreement signed with the makers of Downton Abbey includes an interesting clause - they signed up to abide by the strictures of the Official Secrets ...
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The DEA and Breaking Bad: Why Hank Never Tapped Jesse's Phone

The DEA and Breaking Bad: Why Hank Never Tapped Jesse’s Phone

Despite its enormous popularity there are many problems with Breaking Bad - the utterly racist depiction of Mexicans, the glorifying of a sociopathic protagonist and that incredibly boring and pointless fifth season come to mind.  But what has never been discussed before is how the show functions as propaganda for ...
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ClandesTime 179 - The Philosophy and Politics of Superman

ClandesTime 179 – The Philosophy and Politics of Superman

Superman is one of the world’s most recognisable cultural icons. A symbol of human idealism, he has been subject to a range of political and philosophical agendas over the last 80 years. This week I analyse the ideas behind Superman, and how they have manifested and changed throughout the course ...
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How the Pentagon Rewrote Man of Steel

How the Pentagon Rewrote Man of Steel

The Superman reboot Man of Steel launched the (now abandoned) DC Extended Universe, and put a much darker tinge on the Superman franchise than any previous incarnation, especially the Christopher Reeve classics.  Man of Steel benefited from large-scale support from the military, but hidden until now are the details of ...
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ClandesTime 177 - Ice Station Zebra

ClandesTime 177 – Ice Station Zebra

While it is now considered a Cold War classic Ice Station Zebra was a flop when it was first released. This week, I review Ice Station Zebra and analyse the development of the film, how it differs quite radically from the book, and why the DOD rejected an early version ...
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ClandesTime 175 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Death of Osama Bin Laden

ClandesTime 175 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Death of Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden’s death is the perfect postmodern event, in that most of the reports detailing how, where and when he died contradict all the other reports. This week I take an in-depth look at the Abbottabad raid of 2011 and the official story of Bin Laden’s death, analyzing some ...
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'All Assistance is Provided at No Cost to You' - FBI Letter to Martin Scorcese

‘All Assistance is Provided at No Cost to You’ – FBI Letter to Martin Scorcese

In late 2009 the FBI got wind of the fact that Martin Scorcese was developing The Wolf of Wall Street, about stock fraudster turned federal cooperator Jordan Belfort.  So the Bureau's Michael Kortan wrote to Scorcese to offer their help and support in producing the film, noting that 'all assistance ...
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The CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and Ice Station Zebra

The CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and Ice Station Zebra

The 1968 spy and counterspy classic Ice Station Zebra was inspired by a real life event during the CIA/Air Force Corona spy satellite program.  In April 1959 the satellite Discoverer 2 became the first to send a recovery capsule containing satellite surveillance imagery back to earth, but there was a ...
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ClandesTime 173 - Public Enemies

ClandesTime 173 – Public Enemies

Public Enemies is a 2009 historical drama/thriller film that tells the story of the Bureau of Investigation’s manhunt for Public Enemy Number One John Dillinger. In this episode I examine the film, the politics of crime and the romanticising of criminals. I explore these themes in light of FBI documents ...
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FBI Releases Almost Entirely Redacted File on Burn Notice

FBI Releases Almost Entirely Redacted File on Burn Notice

The FBI recently released a tranche of documents on the USA Network TV series Burn Notice. While most of the file is redacted - in many cases every paragraph of every page - the small amount of unredacted information shows that the FBI and NSA are keeping tabs on how ...
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ClandesTime 170 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Anwar al Awlaki

ClandesTime 170 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Anwar al Awlaki

Anwar al Awlaki rose to notoriety in the 2000s as a leading internet jihadist whose lectures and videos were very popular among the emerging Islamist movement. But his history with Al Qaeda, and in particular his contacts with the 9/11 hijackers while under investigation by the FBI, pose serious questions ...
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When Al Qaeda Leader Awlaki Picked Up Hookers at Top Gun Naval Base

When Al Qaeda Leader Awlaki Picked Up Hookers at Top Gun Naval Base

Anwar Al Awlaki was the head of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula until his death in a CIA drone strike in 2011. In the mid-late 1990s he lived in San Diego, where he met future 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Al-Hazmi and Khalid Al Mihdhar and consorted with Saudi intelligence officer ...
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