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Screening sparks surveillance discussion

Queen’s University surveillance expert David Lyon will speak following the Kingston premiere of Citizenfour, a critically acclaimed documentary about Edward Snowden.

David Lyon is leading a discussion at The Screening Room Monday night following the screening of Citizenfour.

The Screening Room is showing the documentary by Laura Poitras, the filmmaker whom Edward Snowden first contacted with his revelations about the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program. Dr. Lyon is currently writing a book, Surveillance after Snowden that examines the Snowden revelations and assesses the global response to those revelations.

“The topics and issues raised by the Snowden leaks are so important,” says Dr. Lyon, the director of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s. “The details are so stunning and people need to remember, lives like ours are affected by this. Still, paranoia is not the appropriate response – we need to think about it and develop new everyday practices and political responses.”

After the screening, Dr. Lyon will lead a discussion on the movie and how the messages in the film are relevant for everyone in the room.

His new book, due out in September, aims to put the Snowden revelations in context. “We need to go behind the overall revelations and find out what it means for us and what we can do. Snowden gives us hope that something can be done.”

Wendy Huot, owner and operator of The Screening Room, is “always looking for opportunities to bring in a local expert to speak in conjunction with a film.

“Having an expert give a brief talk or conduct a Q&A transforms what would otherwise be a routine movie screening into a proper event -- it's a community learning experience that deepens our appreciation of both the film itself and the expertise of fellow Kingstonians.”

Citizenfour is showing Monday, Jan. 26 starting at 6:55 pm at The Screening Room.

The Surveillance Studies Centre (SSC) aims to be a leading global hub for research on expanding surveillance practices. Through collaborative and international projects, the SSC promotes multi-disciplinary understanding of a full range of surveillance and the issues raised by its increasing organizational centrality.