Laura Poitras


Photography: Malte Jaeger/laif  

LAURA POITRAS: A POSSIBLE NSA FILE. The latest subversive production from Laura Poitras, Citizenfour, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 2015 - this could incite her to undertake further activity.

Red Bulletin Rebel Special - Meet the inspiring game changers doing things their own way - and saving the world. 

This is what a possible NSA file on Laura Poitras could look like. Laura is featured in the “Rebel Yell” special in July’s The Red Bulletin Magazine.  


Internal assessment concludes that the 51-year-old film director, who has been under state surveillance for 10 years, should be observed more closely in future. Her latest subversive production, the film Citizenfour, about whistleblower Edward Snowden (see file  [§%§%§%]*), won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 2015, the highest possible accolade in the movie industry. This could incite Poitras to undertake further activity. The subject has been resident in Berlin, Germany, for more than two years.

The trailer of the film „Citizenfour“, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 2015.

Poitras began her suspicious activities when she went to Iraq in 2004, to document US military operations. From that journey we know of Poitras’s visits to Abu Ghraib prison (see file [§%§%§%]*) and video footage of forces from units [§%§%§%]* and [§%§%§%]* in action, to name two focuses of her work.



Laura Poitras,
born in 1964, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA


My Country, My Country; Alternative Christmas Message; Citizenfour; 1971


On the Department of Homeland Security’s watch list.
Monitored by airport security in Baghdad, Moscow and other locations

She criticised American foreign policy in her films My Country, My Country (2006) and The Oath (2010). She doesn’t shy away from publishing sensitive internal secrets (PRISM). She has defined privacy on multiple occasions in interviews with the international press as a “fundamental right” and “requirement” for humanity that must be defended. 

Several attempts have been made to pursue [§%§%§%]*. Yet none could deter the subject from her subversive activities. We have received information that she had foreknowledge of the [§%§%§%]* attack on US troops by [§%§%§%]*. In June 2006, she was put on the Secondary Security Screening Selection (SSSS) list, making her subject to heightened checks when travelling.

Since then, security forces have made more than 40 interventions, including at [§%§%§%]*, [§%§%§%]* and [§%§%§%]* airports. Poitras was not allowed to have a lawyer present on those occasions. Handwritten notes, invoices, mobile telephones and computers have all been confiscated on multiple occasions and subject to thorough inspection. To date,these measures have produced no significant additional intelligence and have failed in their efforts to hinder her work.

Laura Poitras

Poitras’s communication is encrypted. She demonstrates an increased professionalism in dealing with state surveillance. There is still the greatest interest in securing the stolen NSA data sets [§%§%§%]* to [§%§%§%]*, to which Poitras has access via her collaboration with Snowden.

* This information may not be published for data protection reasons.

Read more
07 2015 The Red Bulletin

Next story