April 23, 2024

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Ten years later, what happened to the different protagonists?

Ten years later, what happened to the different protagonists?

June 6, 2013: Guardian (And the next day, The Washington Post) publishes the first articles in what will be one of the decade’s largest expository series. For several weeks, a small team of journalists from two British and American newspapers have had access to hundreds of thousands of pages of internal documents from the National Security Agency (NSA), the powerful American electronic intelligence agency responsible for monitoring the ‘Internet’. .

The files reveal the existence of dozens of top-secret programs that allow US spies to probe the network on an unprecedented scale. E-mails, phone data, messages on social networks, geolocation… Top secret, with almost no control, the NSA has been able to set up mass surveillance tools with access to an inordinate amount of information shared with it. Partners in the “Five Eyes” alliance (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).

The source of this scandal reveals his identity three days later: broadcast in a video GuardianEdward Snowden, an employee of an NSA contractor, Appears with an uncovered face And explaining that it acted to protect the privacy and fundamental freedoms of Internet users around the world. Downloading thousands of internal agency documents, he fled to Hong Kong, where he handed them over to English and American journalists. Ten years later, the main players in the affair have taken very different paths.

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden speaks remotely at the Wired25 festival in San Francisco, California (USA) on October 14, 2018.

The whistleblower, who described himself as an ardent patriot, is now a Russian citizen. At the end of 2022, Mr. After nearly a decade of uncertainty, the Kremlin granted Snowden Russian citizenship.

Read the review: The article is reserved for our subscribers Edward Snowden’s book, A Plea for American Thought

Criticized for this national change after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Mr. Snowden explained at the time that he took the step to provide a safe environment for his children – he has two sons with his wife, Lindsey Snowden. , joined him in Moscow after the revelations were published. In 2019, he published his autobiography. Living memories (Le Seuil), in which he elaborates on his career and his reasons for sending these documents to the press.

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“Snowden Refugees”

From left to right: Filipina Vanessa Rodel with her Sri Lankan daughter Nathika Nonis, left Subun partner Dilina Kelapata and their children and Sri Lankan Ajith Pushpakumara, all refugees, at the Office of the Torture Claims Appeals Commission in Hong Kong on July 17, 2017.

Before traveling from Hong Kong to Moscow, Edward Snowden had to go into hiding for a while, fearing arrest. For days, he was picked up by Sri Lankan and Filipino refugees fleeing violence in their native countries. They were looking to move to Hong Kong, Canada.

Since 2013, six of the seven “Snowden refugees” have had their lesser-known roles highlighted by the film. Snowden, Get a Visa to Canada by Oliver Stone, published in 2016. Former Sri Lankan soldier Ajith Pushpakumara is still waiting to leave.

Laura Poitras

Director Laura Poitras during an event organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Celeste Bartos Theater of the Museum of Modern Art on November 30, 2022 in New York (USA).

Before being contacted by Edward Snowden, American journalist and director Laura Poitras was already at the origin of several notable documentaries about abuses by the US military and security services.

The latter gave him access to the documents and allowed him to film them in his room at the Mira Hotel in Hong Kong in the days leading up to their release. He made an exceptional documentary out of it, CitizenfourIt would be a critical and worldwide audience hit.

Since then she has done danger (2017), a portrait of Julian Assange with allegations of sexual assault against WikiLeaks founder and activist Jacob Appelbaum, with whom Laura Poitras had a brief relationship. His last film, All beauty and goreIt’s a documentary about the opioid crisis in America and photographer Nan Goldin’s activism against addiction to these products and the pharmaceutical group that manufactures them.

Read the review: The article is reserved for our subscribers “All Beauty and Spilled Blood”: I’m Goldin’s Raging Crusade

Laura Poitras visited Berlin for several years, both before and during her career Citizenfour, in order to curb pressures and attempts at plagiarism of its documentary; He later returned to live in America.

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Glenn Greenwald

Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald during a press conference on April 11, 2014 in New York (USA).  She received the George Polk Prize along with Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill and Barton Gellman.

Glenn Greenwald was a regular columnist for the US edition when he published the first articles based on the Snowden documents. Guardian, he writes in a blog. A year later, along with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, she founded the site interception, funded by American billionaire Pierre Omidyar. He published, still in 2014, There is nowhere to hide (JC Lattès), a book that goes back to the revelations provided by Snowden.

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His hard-line stances, highly critical of successive US governments, have put him somewhat out of step with much of the US left, although his work on the Snowden documents has been welcomed.

His comments downplay attempts at Russian intervention in the United States, but also downplay the atrocities committed By the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria Or that Russian Army in Ukraine Criticized on the left, and made him a regular guest on the more conservative Tucker Carlson’s show on the Fox News Channel. In 2020, he resigned interceptionOne of his articles about Joe Biden is believed to have been censored, according to the media group. He vehemently refused.

Her husband, Brazilian politician David Miranda, was briefly detained at a London airport by British police on suspicion of carrying Snowden documents. Died on May 9 due to intestinal infectionAt the age of 37.

General Keith B. Alexander

The head of the NSA, General Keith P.  Alexander, on March 28, 2014, at Fort Meade, Maryland (USA), during a ceremony organized for his retirement at the organization's campus.

At the time the Snowden revelations were released, Keith Alexander headed the NSA. The four-star general offers his resignation to Barack Obama, who refuses it. He eventually retired the following year.

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read more: Former NSA director joins Amazon board

He founded IronNet, a cyber security consultancy, and sits on the board of Amazon. Snowden documents showed he lied under oath during a 2012 congressional hearing, during which he promised the NSA did not collect any data on US citizens.

Ian Loban

Ian Loban, Director of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), heard by the British Parliament in London on November 7, 2013.

The current director of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British electronic intelligence service, announced his retirement months after Snowden’s revelations, insisting the two events were not connected.

During the parliamentary hearings he will attend on the matter, he will seek to reduce the amount of personal information collection carried out by the services he directed, confirming that what was exposed was beneficial to international terrorism. After leaving GCHQ, he worked as a consultant to the Australian government and later joined the supervisory board of private security firm Hakluyt & Company.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers British intelligence chiefs blame Edward Snowden