The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State Audiobook | Shane Harris | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State | [Shane Harris]

The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State

Our surveillance state was born in the brain of Admiral John Poindexter in 1983. Poindexter, President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser, realized that the United States might have prevented the terrorist massacre of 241 Marines in Beirut if only intelligence agencies had been able to analyze in real time data they had on the attackers. Poindexter poured government know-how and funds into his dream---a system that would sift reams of data for signs of terrorist activity.
Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Our surveillance state was born in the brain of Admiral John Poindexter in 1983. Poindexter, President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser, realized that the United States might have prevented the terrorist massacre of 241 Marines in Beirut if only intelligence agencies had been able to analyze in real time data they had on the attackers. Poindexter poured government know-how and funds into his dream - a system that would sift reams of data for signs of terrorist activity. Decades later, that elusive dream still captivates Washington.

After the 2001 attacks, Poindexter returned to government with a controversial program, called Total Information Awareness, to detect the next attack. Today it is a secretly funded operation that can gather personal information on every American and millions of others worldwide. But Poindexter's dream has also become America's nightmare. Despite billions of dollars spent on this digital quest since the Reagan era, we still can't discern future threats in the vast data cloud that surrounds us all. But the government can now spy on its citizens with an ease that was impossible - and illegal - just a few years ago.

Drawing on unprecedented access to the people who pioneered this high-tech spycraft, Shane Harris shows how it has shifted from the province of right-wing technocrats to a cornerstone of the Obama administration's war on terror. Harris puts us behind the scenes and in front of the screens where 21st-century spycraft was born. We witness Poindexter quietly working from the private sector to get government to buy in to his programs in the early '90s. We see an Army major agonize as he carries out an order to delete the vast database he's gathered on possible terror cells - and on thousands of innocent Americans - months before 9/11. We follow General Mike Hayden as he persuades the Bush administration to secretly monitor Americans based on a flawed interpretation of the law.

©2010 Shane Harris (P)2010 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"An absorbing look at modern spying technology and how it impacts average Americans." (Booklist)

"The Watchers reads like a thriller, and the story is sadly on the mark in describing our limited oversight of the government's surveillance powers. The nation needs to do better, and Harris' book is rich background to that task." (Gregory F. Treverton, Director, Center for Global Risk and Security, RAND Corporation)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (26 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.5 (11 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.4 (11 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Keefer SAN MATEO, CA, United States 09-17-11
    Keefer SAN MATEO, CA, United States 09-17-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Important context for privacy debate"

    Shane Harris does such a good job of explaining the rationale behind the creation of the modern US surveillance state and the motivations of the people who created it that in the end I felt it was lacking compelling arguments against such domestic spying. Despite that, the book does chronicle the rapid erosion of protections for US persons in the face of comprehensive government eavesdropping. I heartily recommend this book to anyone seeking a better understanding of privacy and surveillance issues.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.