The Haystack

The Haystack

2016, Technology  -   7 Comments
Ratings: 6.86/10 from 106 users.

The modern era of sophisticated hacking techniques, and the increasingly dangerous terrorist organizations that often employ them, demand a new approach from law enforcement. That's why the British Parliament is currently reviewing the Investigatory Powers Bill, a crucial piece of legislation that would provide more leniency in the interception of private email and phone communications. The Haystack examines whether this bill would prove effective or necessary, and what everyday citizens would have to give up if it's ultimately implemented.

The UK government possesses the technology to tap into anyone's phone and determine their location, service provider, personal email account and the content of their communications. But should they have the right to access these things? Their argument lies firmly in the need for enhanced security; the threat of terrorism makes such measures essential to enhancing public safety. They contend that the new bill would expand the scope of their capabilities, but would also provide greater levels of oversight.

The filmmakers behind The Haystack feel the issue needs more scrutiny, so they've assembled a group of interview subjects from both sides of the debate. Their journey of investigation begins in America, where the revelations revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden placed Britain's role in potentially unlawful surveillance practices under a microscope. In effect, the UK seeks to extend these practices, and opponents claim it's all a ruse to further trample on the privacy rights and civil liberties of the people.

The film goes through many of the major provisions presented in the bill, including the warrant and oversight process. Supporters of the bill applaud it as an important step to ensuring democracy and improved judgement. Naysayers claim that while the bill may give the appearance of transparency on the surface, each of its provisions contain loopholes which can easily be exploited. In addition to the insights of mass surveillance insiders and representatives from area watchdog groups, we're also shown clips from a series of debates currently taking place in Parliament over this contentious issue.

Above all else, The Haystack urges for less apathy and more vocal involvement from the citizens this bill is likely to affect. In the absence of that, the people of the UK may be denied many of the freedoms they most treasure.

Directed by: Olivia Cappuccini

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5 years ago

We're in trouble? Nobody told me. Actually I figured it out myself about 40 years ago. You're slow on the uptake.

6 years ago

I don't understand why the American government is so concerned about their files being confidential; yet still they don't respect our privacy being confidential to us.

6 years ago

I think NSA operatives don't have a lot to do, because, let's face it - they probably outnumber terrorists by 100 to 1. And we the taxpayers are footing the bill for their cushy lives. Whenever they can view naked people who were stupid enough to upload their sex acts on the internet it's one of their perks on the job. They also like to pretend to be terrorists and reach out to random law obeying muslims in the US and convince them they should be terrorists too. If they suceed in getting these unknowing dupes t o converse with them about the evil ways of Americans, the next step is to save the file and arrest them for terroris m. They know that if they don't produce suspects that downsizing could be their future. The US is the biggest terrorist in the world.

Danny Lowe
6 years ago

The people who own America and the other countries on this planet want nothing short of total control over the population. Terrorists are the new "danger" to America now that the Cold War is over. The over blown propaganda from the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about is designed to scare the people into giving up their freedoms for security. A thousand times more people die each year from allergies and cancer in the U S then have EVER died from terrorists. The MOST dangerous terrorists in America work on Wall St. and have on $5000 suits. The people who direct them hide behind the tented glass of limousines and are members of the Bilderberg group.

Leigh Atkins
6 years ago

If you were a rich, powerful man (like Mr Bush) & you had shares in the Carlyle Group's investments, which include ownership in at least 164 companies throughout the world including many weapons companies like Halliburton (like Mr Bush) would YOU want perpetual peace?
Or would you use your power to induce perpetual war?

7 years ago

First import terrorists and/or perform false flag terror. Then claim you need better surveillance. Old trick to grow govt towards the new world order. Problem, Reaction, Solution. You are the enemy and the terrorists are the useful idiots helping them, along with those who listen to the propaganda fed to them.