00:00 GMT +330 March 2017
    Oliver Stone Releases Teaser for New Edward Snowden Thriller

    Oliver Stone Warns Moviegoers: Beware of Your Phones, 'This Will Be Our Undoing’

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    Oliver Stone, director of the upcoming film Snowden, will deliver a dark warning to moviegoers at the start of the movie: turn your phone off, and keep it off.

    In an ominous one-minute clip, Stone appears in a decadent den with a smartphone in his hand. He discusses the benefits of the technology, compete with a cut to cute cats, before warning that users are giving all their information to “them.”

    "That's not all it does," Stone says as the tone of the PSA intensifies. "It allows certain parties to track your every move every time you make a call or send a text. We are giving them access. The information you've put out into the world voluntarily is enough to burn your life to the ground. This will be our undoing."

    A chair is pictured on stage as former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
    © REUTERS/ Svein Ove Ekornesvaag/NTB Scanpix
    Stone then looks into the camera and states, "Do the rest of the people in the audience a big favor: turn off your phone during the movie."

    A narrator then jumps in with a disclaimer that, “Oliver Stone’s views are not necessarily that of this theater, or its owners, you’re welcome to turn your phone back on after the movie.”

    In a statement to Ars Technica, PR firm Submersive Media, acting on behalf of the film's production company Open Road Films, added that Stone would like people to turn their phones off permanently.

    "Oliver Stone would like you to shut off your cell phone during the movie, and then shut it off forever,” the statement reads.

    Speaking in San Diego at Comic-Con last month, Stone also spoke out against Google and Pokemon GO, calling the wildly popular game “a new level of invasion.”

    “I’m hearing about it too, it’s a new level of invasion. Once the government had been hounded by Snowden, of course the corporations went into encryption, because they had to for survival, right? But the search for profits is enormous here. Nobody has ever seen, in the history of the world, something like Google, ever,” Stone told the crowd. “It’s the biggest, new,  fastest-growing business ever, and they have invested huge amounts of money into what surveillance is, which is data-mining.”

    The Oscar-winning director warned that, by using technology, governments can manipulate behavior, creating “robot” societies under totalitarian regimes.

    “They’re data-mining every person in this room for information as to what you’re buying, what you like, and above all, your behaviour. Pokémon GO kicks into that. But this is everywhere. It’s what some people call surveillance capitalism. It’s the newest stage. It’s not for profit in the beginning, but it becomes for profit in the end,” the director continued. “It manipulates your behavior. It has happened already quite a bit on the internet, but you’ll see it everywhere—you'll see a new form of, frankly, a robot society, where they will know how you want to behave and they will make the mockup that matches how you behave and feed you. It’s what they call totalitarianism.”

    Snowden will be released in theaters in the US on September 16.


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    Smartphones, Surveillance, Privacy, Pokemon Go, Google, Edward Snowden, Oliver Stone
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    • avatar
      If you never saw Stone's JFK, you ought to as it's a most important film.
    • avatar
      Tell me something I didn't already know. As for Snowden, I never bought into giving him automatic trust and still don't trust him. If the CIA couldn't detain Snowden's plane, instead forcing him on Russia then I have a knockoff Rollex to sell you. Buzz off Snowden, Putin would appreciate it.
    • avatar
      scale back and get a prehistoric phone - the kind people had when they only needed to send and receive calls and texts
    • avatar
      karlof1in reply toGerry(Show commentHide comment)
      Gerry, Unfortunately, those phones are slowly becoming unusable because of network updates that force people to get newer phones. Even those old phones can give one's location away as all electronic radiation is trackable. Secure landlines are still tops security-wise.
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      A lot can be said on that subject. I will warn though, before you install pokemon go on any device, read all the fine print on the terms and conditions very closely and look at what they are asking you to agree to before you do.
    • avatar
      Gerryin reply tokarlof1(Show commentHide comment)
      karlof1, agree
    • avatar
      Gerryin reply toDarrell R(Show commentHide comment)
      Darrell R, too right - if the app's taking control of your camera and connecting to a satellite, where is it sending pictures of your house, neighbourhood, etc?
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