These emails show how upset NSA spies were with the ‘Enemy of the State’ film

Employees at the secretive National Security Agency were not too happy about the 1998 blockbuster film “Enemy of the State” that starred Will Smith.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise — the spy agency was portrayed as the villain — but now BuzzFeed News has obtained internal emails that prove it.

“I saw a preview for the new movie ‘Enemy of the State’ and to my surprise found out that NSA were the ‘bad guys’ in it,” wrote one NSA employee in a question to the agency’s public affairs team.

Directed by Tony Scott, the film was highly critical of NSA. The plot began with agency operatives murdering a congressman opposed to a surveillance bill — which was caught on tape — setting off a cat-and-mouse game between attorney Robert Dean (played by Will Smith) and agents trying to pursue him.

The film depicted the agency as having vast technical know-how and incredible surveillance capabilities (many of which were later confirmed by the Edward Snowden leaks). Once he saw the film, then-NSA Director Lt. Gen Michael Hayden saw a PR nightmare, telling CNN in 2001: “I made the judgment that we couldn’t survive with the popular impression of this agency being formed by the last Will Smith movie.”

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