March 5, 2014 | By Dave Maass

Middle Schoolers Win C-SPAN Prizes for NSA Documentaries

Remember when Rep. Mike Rogers likened opponents of pernicious cybersecurity legislation to 14-year-olds? It turns out that middle-school-age students are also well-prepared to debate him on the NSA's programs as well.

EFF congratulates students from two middle schools who took home top prizes in the C-SPAN StudentCam 2014 competition for young filmmakers with their documentaries on mass surveillance. Students were tasked with answering the question: “What’s the most important issue the U.S. Congress should consider in 2014?”

According to the C-SPAN press release:

Peter Jasperse, Antonia Torfs-Leibman and Madeleine Hutchins, eighth graders at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md., are national First Prize winners in the Middle School division. Peter, Antonia and Madeleine will share $3,000 for their First Prize documentary, 'The NSA: The Lengths of America's Security,' about NSA surveillance."

The video, featuring an interview with author James Bamford, will air on C-SPAN at 6:50 a.m. E.T. and throughout the day on April 23. You can also watch it online.

Ben Blum, a filmmaker at Saint Mark's School in San Rafael, California, scored second place in the same category for his documentary "Data Obsession," featuring EFF Activist Parker Higgins. It will air on Friday, April 11 and you can watch it below:

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If you're a student interested in ways to join our fight against NSA surveillance, please visit

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