A spirited discussion of civil liberties, privacy and the role of government in the lives of Americans was the order of business during today’ Snowden panel in Hall H at Comic-Con. The event featured not only appearances by Snowden stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley and Zachary Quinto but also the first-ever Comic-Con appearance by director Oliver Stone.
Among the more notable moments was a discussion about the surging popularity of Niantic Labs’ mobile game Pokemon Go, the topic of which was raised during the fan Q&A. All of the panelists had misgivings about the game, but it was the always-outspoken Stone who offered up the strongest concerns in a truly epic “get off my lawn” moment that doubled as compelling criticism of government and corporate overreach. “[It’s] a new level of invasion,” he said, lamenting what he called “surveillance capitalism” and the “enormous” search for profits by corporations taking advantage of technology developed to spy on citizens. “Frankly,” the Oscar-winning filmmaker said, “it’s what they call totalitarianism,” by which he meant the increasing comfort with nonstop surveillance among citizenry.
A new trailer for Stone’s film about the man who leaked U.S. government surveillance secrets before taking asylum in Russia also premiered at the panel. Have a look above.