The Shady Network: Artists’ Statement

P.Rodriguez_The social network

By Pamela Rodrigues Ortiz

Our inspiration for this poster was The Social Network. I went with this movie poster because I was intrigued by the phrase on the original movie poster ” You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies” because I felt it had a lot of potential. After brainstorming with my group for a while we finally decided upon changing the phrase to “You don’t get to 5 billion private files without breaking a few laws”. For the NSA to garner 5 billion private records daily, they must do it in a way that many believe is unconstitutional, as it violates the First and Fourth amendments. The shadowy figure looming in the background is NSA Director Keith Alexander, who proposed the “Collect It All” mass surveillance method. Figuratively and literally, Keith Alexander is the man behind it all.

As your eyes travel down the poster, you can spot the movie credits at the bottom. Again, with the help of my group, we came up with the key players involved in this topic. This is “A National Security Agency Film” that appeared “In Cinemas September 11, 2001” because the terrorist attacks that occurred on 9/11 was a significant turning point for the NSA; shortly after the attacks, mass surveillance on a large scale began. FISA Court Pictures presents this NSA Production because it was through the FISA courts that the NSA was granted permission to spy on all Americans without a warrant or probable cause. AT&T, Verizon Google and Facebook were among some of the major companies that gave information over to the NSA. The US government helped produce The Shady Network because the NSA is a part of the government. Key figures involved in this shady network include James Clapper, Director of the National Intelligence who lied to the public about the extent of the surveillance, Keith Alexander, and George Bush, who signed the US Patriot Act that enabled the spying to happen with the claim that it would prevent terrorist attacks. With music by Barack Obama; although under Bush, mass surveillance was allowed to occur, Obama amplified the situation much like music does to intensify the emotions of a movie. Furthermore, designer Booz Allen Hamilton is the technology firm that designed programs for the NSA to be able to conduct their spying.

Lastly, we modified the title from The Social Network to The Shady Network because the majority of American citizens can agree that spying on individual private matters from telephone calls to emails to Google searches is, quite frankly, shady.

 

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