News channel C-SPAN just announced the winners in its StudentCam competition, where people in grades 6-8 produced short news segments that answered the question, "What's the most important issue the U.S. Congress should consider in 2014?" Their answer? Government spying.
The winning documentary (above) and the second place winner (below) were both about NSA spying on U.S. citizens. This suggests that one of the formative political experiences for people coming of age in the early 21st century is going to be mass surveillance. The future dystopia that science fiction writers of the 20th century dreamed about has become this generation's reality.
The best part is that neither of these films accepts spying as "normal," even though it's the reality that all of these filmmakers have grown up with. Instead, they are questioning whether it was right for the NSA to spy on domestic communications. And they are trying to figure out why it happened.
Here's what C-SPAN said about the winning documentary:
Peter Jasperse, Antonia Torfs-Leibman and Madeleine Hutchins, eighth graders at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md., are national First Prize winners in the Middle School division. Peter, Antonia and Madeleine will share $3,000 for their First Prize documentary, 'The NSA: The Lengths of America's Security,' about NSA surveillance."
The second place winner is by middle schooler Ben Blum from San Rafael, CA, and it's called "Data Obsession."
Both documentaries will air on C-SPAN in April.
Spotted on EFF's Deep Links