Truth Frequency Radio

Jan 22, 2016

Paul Szoldra, Tech Insider Jan. 21, 2016, 9:52 AM


Employees at the secretive National Security Agency were not too happy about the 1998 blockbuster film “Enemy of the State,” which starred Will Smith.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise — the spy agency was portrayed as the villain — but now BuzzFeed News has obtained internal emails that prove it.

“I saw a preview for the new movie ‘Enemy of the State’ and to my surprise found out that NSA were the ‘bad guys’ in it,” one NSA employee wrote in a question to the agency’s public-affairs team.

Directed by Tony Scott, the film was highly critical of the NSA. The plot began with agency operatives killing a congressman who was opposed to a surveillance bill — an action that was caught on tape — setting off a cat-and-mouse game between attorney Robert Dean (played by Smith) and agents trying to pursue him.

The film depicted the agency as having vast technical know-how and incredible surveillance capabilities (many of which were later confirmed by the Edward Snowden leaks). Once he saw the film, Lt. Gen Michael Hayden, then the NSA’s director, saw a PR nightmare, telling CNN in 2001: “I made the judgment that we couldn’t survive with the popular impression of this agency being formed by the last Will Smith movie.”

“Unfortunately, truth isn’t always as riveting as fiction and creative license may mean that ‘the NSA,’ as portrayed in a given production, bears little resemblance to the place we all work,” an NSA official wrote, in response to an employee question about the NSA portrayed as the villain.

Though the Snowden documents have not shown evidence of NSA agents’ killing congressman and others it disagrees with, they have offered evidence of many of the surveillance capabilities the film depicted. These include telephone wiretaps, GPS trackers, email intercepts, and other technology that has typically been used in drone strikes against suspected terrorists.


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