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I was captivated by one particular moment in Citizenfour at the very end of the film: the visual of Glenn Greenwald tearing up his casually jotted correspondence during his final meeting with Snowden.

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Looking at a conversation symbolized by a few torn remnants of paper calls into question our discussion of visibility (or a lack thereof) this week, particularly Beth’s questions at the end of Monday’s lecture – When is leaking okay? When is an exposé or an exposure a good thing? Edward Snowden stole and exposed top-secret government documents and decided to immortalize them forever visually in the American media. However, this paper document, even though it only contains partial phrases from Greenwald and Snowden’s conversation, deserved to be torn up for the sole purpose of becoming invisible.

‘Erasure’ in this instance becomes even stranger when Laura Poitras’s camera ends up showing what Greenwald had written anyway. Even though the contents of the this conversation concludes as highly visualized on a grand scale as part of an Academy Award-winning film, the act itself of reducing privileged information to the status of ‘invisible’ still seems important to Greenwald. Such an act takes Beth’s discussion questions one step further – not only do we need to consider “When is leaking okay?” but also “Who deserves to be the leaker?”