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Old 08-06-14, 16:37   #1
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Movies Edward Snowden's NSA Leaks-New Movie Coming

Oscar-Winning Director Oliver Stone to Film Thriller Based on Edward Snowden's NSA Leaks

  • Snowden, 30, leaked documents from state spy agencies including GCHQ
  • Former intelligence worker was accused of putting people's lives at risk
  • After handing over classified papers to journalists, he fled the US to Russia
  • Snowden is wanted on spy charges which are punishable by 30 years' jail
  • Stone, director of Platoon, Nixon, and Born On The Fourth Of July, is a fan
  • British and US spy chiefs have condemned him, but Stone says 'He's a hero'
By Daily Mail UK, 8 June 2014

The story of how fugitive Edward Snowden leaked classified documents on state surveillance is to be made into a film by Oscar-winning director, Oliver Stone.

Stone, 67, known for tackling controversial topics with movies including Platoon, Born On The Fourth Of July, and Nixon, will base his film on The Snowden Files, the book about the scandal by British journalist Luke Harding.

It will tell the story of the American defence contractor who stole hundreds of thousands of documents exposing spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other state spy agencies, including Britain's GCHQ.

Film director Oliver Stone, 67, top, is to make a thriller about how Edward Snowden, 30, leaked state secrets

NSA executive Rick Ledgett, who assessed the damage done by Snowden's leaks, said the stolen files contained 'the keys to the kingdom', while MI5 director Andrew Parker called it 'a gift to terrorists'.

Wanted by US authorities on spy charges punishable by 30 years in prison, Snowden went on the run, and has now sought temporary asylum in Russia.

Stone, who will direct the film with Moritz Borman as producer, said: 'This is one of the greatest stories of our time.

The Snowden scandal began a year ago when the 30-year-old computer genius leaked details of attempts by government agencies to illegally view citizens’ private information, claiming that people's internet history, emails, text messages, calls and passwords had been harvested.
The defence contractor, who had worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) also made the highly damaging revelation that the US had hacked Chinese computers, and the communications of allies such as Germany and France.

The computer specialist, who worked at an intelligence centre in Hawaii, tricked colleagues into handing over passwords so he could copy up to 1.7million files in one of the biggest leaks in US history, on a par with WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning.

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Maryland: Details of its spying programmes were leaked

The leak began this time last year when he met American journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, telling them he had 'sensitive documents' he would like to share.

After handing over NSA documents, he revealed himself publicly as the source, before fleeing American justice to Russia. Snowden is now living there on a one-year temporary asylum, granted last August.

Some, including Stone, hailed Snowden as a hero for lifting the lid on government surveillance.
Stone said: 'He revealed secrets that we should all know, that the United States has repeatedly violated the fourth amendment.'

But many accused him of putting people's lives at risks with his betrayal.

NSA executive Rick Ledgett, in charge of assessing the damage, said the stolen files contained ‘the keys to the kingdom’, while MI5 director general Andrew Parker called it a ‘gift to terrorists’.

Journalists from British newspaper the Guardian, which reported the leaked documents, will be involved in the making of Stone's film, which they hope will not flop like The Fifth Estate did, the 2013 film starring Benedict Cumberbatch based on Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

Editor Alan Rusbridger said: 'The story of Edward Snowden is truly extraordinary, and the unprecedented revelations he brought to light have for ever transformed our understanding of, and relationship with, government and technology.'

The film will start shooting before the end of the year.


While Stone will have a host of Hollywood stars to choose from when casting for an actor to play Snowden, he will have his work cut out for him choosing someone to portray Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger.
The privately educated 60-year-old was criticised after he published documents leaked to his newspaper by Snowden and then destroyed computer hard drives containing the information, rather than handing them over as requested by government authorities.

Rusbridger, who earns £395,000 as editor of the Guardian, is said to be involved in the making of the film as a consultant, but is not expected to play himself in the movie.

Hugh Grant, 53, who is not known for his love of a free press, would be the flattering choice, while other - likely and less likely - candidates could include tousle-haired Alan Davies, 48, or even (provided he shaved first), would-be journalist, Russell Brand, 38.

If Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, top, features in Stone's film, would Hugh Grant be picked to play him?

Tousle-haired Alan Davies, top, looks most like Rusbridger, but Russell Brand could be a left-field choice

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