Berlin’s digital exiles: where tech activists go to escape the NSA

Date Posted: 2016-08-03

Laura Poitras on the roof of Archimedes Exhibitions in Berlin. Poitras moved to Berlin to escape the attentions of the US security services. Photograph: Malte Jaeger for the Observer
It’s the not knowing that’s the hardest thing, Laura Poitras tells me. “Not knowing whether I’m in a private place or not.” Not knowing if someone’s watching or not. Though she’s under surveillance, she knows that. It makes working as a journalist “hard but not impossible”. It’s on a personal level that it’s harder to process. “I try not to let it get inside my head, but… I still am not sure that my home is private. And if I really want to make sure I’m having a private conversation or something, I’ll go outside.”