_THERE IS CURRENTLY NO major brand of camera on the market that can encrypt while recording. As a result, raw footage sitting on your camera’s memory card is vulnerable to confiscation and destruction.
To minimize risk, you can move your raw footage off your primary memory card, and onto a secure storage device. This strategy is ideal when you need to secure and restrict unwanted access to your sensitive footage, especially while in the field.
“The highest threat model that I’ve ever been in was in Hong Kong shooting with Ed Snowden. I thought at any moment the CIA would try to break the door down, and so I was backing up everything, getting it outside the hotel, dropping it off with a lawyer, who was putting it in a safe, and physically destroying the SD cards that I was recording on.”
_NEED A SAFE SPACE to store files on your computer? Encrypted file containers are the solution for you. Think of encrypted file containers as password-protected folders you use to store the most sensitive files on your computer, like photos, and interview transcripts.
This strategy is ideal if you want to protect data on a shared computer, or restrict access to sensitive data to a select group of teammates. They’re extremely portable; move file containers off your computer and on to an external drive or cloud provider for distribution or safekeeping.
_BEFORE YOU TRUST A CLOUD STORAGE PROVIDER with your data, it’s important to understand the security and privacy tradeoffs.
Traditional cloud providers (e.g., Google Dropbox) are convenient for accessing files and backups from virtually anywhere. The trade-off: If these service providers are presented with a legal order, they may be compelled to hand over data you’ve entrusted to them. Such legal orders might even be done under seal, so you would have no way of knowing your data is compromised.
By comparison, end-to-end encrypted cloud storage providers (e.g., Tresorit and Keybase) have similar features you’d expect from other cloud providers, but secure your data so you are the only one with the ability to access it.
Every film project will require a different balance between convenience and privacy. We cover several options for end-to-end encrypted cloud storage for when extreme privacy is essential.
“You think to yourself, I should keep my backup drive on me, in case something happens, but if I have all my assets on me what if I get arrested? If I give my hard drive to a friend what if they get arrested? I would say no matter what you’re always getting someone into trouble. But at the same time, the worst thing you can do is to have such a fatalist viewpoint, like, we’re screwed anyway so we might as well not even try.”