Frontline (1983 IMDb)

Viewing

Review refers to scattered episodes.

Categorization

PBS documentary series launched in 1983.

documentary series

Episode:

The Merchants of Cool (2001 IMDb)

References here: Freddy Got Fingered (2001).

documentary episode

Episode:

Growing Up Online (2008 IMDb)

Episode:

Top Secret America: 9/11 to the Boston Bombings (2013)

Viewing

Seen in 2017.

Subject

Black-budget US institutional responses and growth following 9/11, creating a “terrorism industrial complex”.

Commentary

Based on the series of investigative articles in The Washington Post in July 2010, by Dana Priest and William Arkin. It's got the generic ominous background “music”, but its a pretty good introduction to the theme, if not actually a factual overview of the various companies and other organizations. The level of opacity is suggestive for a contemporary Delta Green.

documentary episode

Sub-series:

United States of Secrets (2014 IMDb)

Viewing

Seen in 2016.

Subject

The reaction to 9/11 in US SIGINT circles, projects THINTHREAD, PRISM etc., the consequences for phone and IT companies, instances of questioning the legality of these programs, and finally Snowden's whistleblowing.

Commentary

Overly dramatic and somewhat poorly filmed, including the dreaded “data beep” sound effect to superimposed captions, meaningless footage of some helpful technician running traceroute etc. There is little attempt to explain the technical nuances, but the human aspects of the story are well told.

documentary episode

Episode:

Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA (2015 IMDb)

Viewing

Seen in 2015.

documentary episode

Episode:

Divided States of America - Part 1 (2017 IMDb)

Viewing

Seen in 2017.

documentary episode

Episode:

Divided States of America - Part 2 (2017 IMDb)

Viewing

Seen in 2017.

documentary episode