Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Man Sought Injunction to Prevent 'Citizenfour' from Airing at Oscars

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Man Sought Injunction to Prevent 'Citizenfour' from Airing at Oscars

Article excerpt

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied a Topeka man's request for an emergency injunction to prevent the documentary "Citizenfour" from being shown before the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday.

Horace Edwards, 89, first filed suit in December, claiming producers of the documentary, which chronicles former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's leak of classified documents, shouldn't be allowed to profit from what Edwards called Snowden's crimes. The lawsuit was filed Dec. 19 in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan.

On Feb. 13, a district court issued an order refusing to grant Edwards' motion to seal the classified records revealed in the film, allowing the documentary to continue to be distributed, according to Jean Lamfers, Edwards' attorney.

"This is not a 'leak case' about typical government inefficiencies," Lamfers wrote in the appeal Friday. "It is about the classified information contained in Citizenfour that goes too far and discloses for any viewer's consumption, serious national security information stolen by Snowden."

"Citizenfour" is one of five films being considered in the Best Documentary Feature category at Sunday's award show.

Edwards, who served in the Navy during World War II and says he was granted several security clearances by the Atomic Energy Commission, felt compelled to file the lawsuit after seeing the documentary in late 2014.

"I was kind of amazed a bit -- shocked, I guess -- as it dawned on me what it was a story about," he told The Topeka Capital- Journal during an interview Dec. 31.

Snowden was working as an NSA contractor for the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton when, in the summer of 2013, he released thousands of documents to journalists, revealing the agency's national and international surveillance efforts. He was charged with violating the Espionage Act and has spent nearly two years in asylum inside Russia. …

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