Today on KCRW's Press Play, a daily news program to which I'm a contributor, host Madeleine Brand spoke to filmmaker Brian Knappenberger about his new documentary TV series Truth and Power.
Audio of the interview is below.
The series is narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaall, and kicks off Friday on Pivot.
Here's a trailer.
The new Participant Media investigative series promises to tell “the stories of ordinary people going to extraordinary lengths to uncover breaches of public trust by governments and private institutions.”
Knappenberger was the director of “The Internet's Own Boy,” a stellar documentary film about the late developer, organizer, and tech freedom activist Aaron Swartz. He also directed "We Are Legion,” the hacktivism movie about Anonymous.
“We’re in a weird moment,” says Knappenberger. “There seems to be this wave of anger and frustration in America, and I think there’s good reason for that.”
Truth and Power premieres Friday, January 22nd at 10 p.m. ET / PT on Pivot. Read the rest “Truth and Power: New TV series on ordinary people exposing corruption from Brian Knappenberger ('Internet's Own Boy')”
If you've been struggling to make sense of the stories about Stingrays (super-secretive cellular surveillance tech used by cops and governments) (previously) this week's Note to Self podcast does the best job I've yet seen (heard) of explaining them. Read the rest “The snitch in your pocket: making sense of Stingrays”
The Stingray -- a fake cellphone tower that gathers identity/location information on everyone who passes it -- is the worst-kept secret in law enforcement, but that doesn't stop feds from going to absurd lengths to pretend they don't use them. Read the rest “FBI replies to Stingray Freedom of Information request with 5,000 blank pages”
US Marshals swept into the offices of police in Sarasota, Florida to whisk away records related to operation of "stingray" surveillance tools that the ACLU had requested. The records detailed the farcically low standard for judicial permission to use a stingray (which captures information about the movements, communications and identities of all the people using mobile phones in range of them), and is part of a wider inquiry to their use without a warrant at all -- at least 200 Florida stingray deployments were undertaken without judicial oversight because the police had signed a nondisclosure agreement with the device's manufacturer and they decided that this meant they didn't have to get warrants anymore.
The ACLU has seen a lot of shenanigans in respect of its campaign to document the use and abuse of stingrays, but this is a cake-taker: "We’ve seen our fair share of federal government attempts to keep records about stingrays secret, but we’ve never seen an actual physical raid on state records in order to conceal them from public view." Read the rest “US Marshals raid Florida cops to prevent release of records of "stingray" surveillance”
Ukraine's dictatorship is revelling in its new, self-appointed dictatorial powers. The million-plus participants in the latest round of protests received a text-message from the government reading Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance. Read the rest “Ukraine government sends text to protesters: "Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance"”