'Caution,' 'questions,' 'sensitive' — these are all apparently synonyms for willful disregard for facts, which is a curious fit for journalism schools, institutions that purportedly train people how to report what they know.
We all know these stories of sources who take a risk to approach an institution and that institution doesn’t publish the information. I think that the existence of the Intercept or WikiLeaks or other outlets that are willing to publish that information creates a different media landscape…
…I don’t think what we’re doing is radical. I think it’s radical to censor information because the government asks you to. That’s radical.
Laura Poitras, Director and Producer, CitizenFour, to Wired. Laura Poitras on the Crypto Tools That Made Her Snowden Film Possible.
Context: Poitras is referring to the New York Times which withheld publication of the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program for a year at the administration’s request.
The Tools: Poitras says she couldn’t have reported CitizenFour, her documentary on Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks, without a number of Open Source tools. These included, according to Wired, “the anonymity software Tor, the Tor-based operating system Tails, GPG encryption, Off-The-Record (OTR) encrypted instant messaging, hard disk encryption software Truecrypt, and Linux.”
Additionally, Poitras used the anonymizing operating system Tails on a computer dedicated solely for communicating with Snowden, according to Wired.
With two years of her four-year term as the Times’s Public Editor (Graylady-ese for ombudsman) under her belt, she has not only adapted to the speed of the web, but managed to keep pace with its topicality and bottomless appetite for controversy. Sometimes that’s required stirring up controversy herself. But this is what makes her so different from her predecessors: she has ushered the position into a new media age by reimagining the very purpose of the job.