A new documentary about national security and government secrecy is screening at both Tribeca and the San Francisco International Film Festival over the next few weeks. In Secrecy, journalists, lawyers, and government officials debate who should have access to sensitive government data and why.
From the SFIFF site:
Are secrets necessary for our national security? Is an informed American public the best way to fight terrorism? Where does the line exist between public safety and civil liberties? And, if secrets are necessary, who gets to know? … From World War II and the creation of the atom bomb through September 11 and recent abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, we see the role information management has played in some of this country’s biggest triumphs and tragedies…. The issues and images of this timely, troubling documentary will stay with you for days and make you wonder about all of the things being kept from you.
National Security Archive director Tom Blanton is a featured speaker in the film. The NSA is a clearinghouse for declassified government data and documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. “There’s a seduction of secrecy for the securocrats because that is the key tool they use to gain and keep and regulate power. To get a release of a secret means a reduction in official power,” Blanton says in the film. “There’s a thrill to [uncovering secrets] … You’re looking into the unknown, you’re looking in the taboo … What was it that your parents did at night … ? What is it that the national security state does at night to wage wars?”