Enemy of the State

Enemy of the State demonstrates in depth how terrorism and other high crimes can be fought, using the technology of electronic eavesdropping, communication satellites, and computer hacking, thus making privacy obsolete. Although most filmviewers will doubtless assume that the high-tech gadgetry is yet another Hollywood fantasy of director Tony Scott (of Crimson Tide and Top Gun fame), in fact Big Brother technology does exist, is used, and the potential to track the movements of ordinary citizens is in the hands of government as well as those in the private sector who have manufactured devices that can be used to invade our privacy. Anyone, the demonstrates, can be caught up in a surveillance nightmare, and those controlling the technology depicted in the film can also fabricate news stories to discredit us, freeze our bank accounts, and plant electronic bugs on our person and in our homes. Also nominated for the best film in the categories of democracy and human rights, Enemy of the State highlights a more insidious reality than the hypothetical of The Siege, yet both films serve as wake-up calls to remind us that assumptions about our civil liberties and democratic freedoms cannot be taken for granted. MH