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 .
Chatter Audiobook
Chatter
Written by: 
Patrick Radden Keefe
Narrated by: 
Robertson Dean
 >   > 
Chatter Audiobook

Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping

Regular Price:$27.93
  • 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 -

Publisher's Summary

In Chatter, Patrick Radden Keefe investigates the international eavesdropping alliance known as Echelon, sorting facts from conspiracy theories to determine just how much privacy Americans unknowingly sacrifice in the name of greater security. Keefe's riveting investigation moves from a secret listening station in England's Yorkshire moors to the intelligence bureaucracies of Washington and London; from an abandoned National Security Agency base hidden in the mountains of North Carolina to the European Parliament in Brussels.

Along the way Keefe meets intelligence eavesdroppers who listen in on other people's private conversations, protestors who believe that systems like Echelon will end privacy as we know it, former senators who feel American intelligence operates without any effective legislative oversight, and the journalists who brought Echelon to light. As the struggle between national security and civil liberties becomes ever more pronounced against a backdrop of global terrorism, Chatter is sure to fire debate.

Listen to an interviewwith Patrick Radden Keefe on Fresh Air.

©2005 Patrick Radden Keefe; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Mr. Keefe writes, crisply and entertainingly, as an interested private citizen rather than an expert." (The New York Times)
"Intelligent and polemical, Keefe's study is sure to spark some political chatter of its own." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (206 )
5 star
 (71)
4 star
 (56)
3 star
 (58)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.0 (51 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.0 (47 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Michael Racine, WI, United States 06-24-05
    Michael Racine, WI, United States 06-24-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Limited Intelligence"

    A thoroughly fascinating history of SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) as invented and practiced by the security agencies of the five major English-speaking nations after WWII.

    With the ability to capture every phone call and email message in the world, the Echelon surveillance system is run by the super-secret NSA which must then rely on sophisticated computer software to cull and filter the terabytes of data retrieved daily. After that, it is up to human intelligence analysts to give meaning or alert to the thousands of messages received.

    And this is where Echelon has failed since its inception.

    'Chatter' documents the politics and policies of institutions so infatuated with technology that they have all but ignored the fact that it still takes human beings to interpret the intelligence being gathered.

    The inept and ineffectual operations of our intelligence agencies led in good measure to the tragedy on 9/11 and this book outlines reasons for those failures.

    Intelligence is a nether world that lies just under the surface of our high-tech society, and when directed by politicians to advance their own ideologies and agenda, can be highly detrimental to the security of a nation. We only have to look at how Vice President Cheney allegedly coerced the CIA to "cook the books" on how many WMD's existed in Iraq to make a case for a war that has claimed far too many lives and has greatly increased the dangers of terrorism in the world.

    'Chatter' is a thoroughly researched cautionary tale that sheds important light on an area of government that has always existed in the dark.

    Click on the light and find out for yourself what all the chatter is about.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 10-21-05
    Richard 10-21-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    116
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A Good Listen If you are Curious"

    This book gave some great background on the evolution of evesdropping, why its done, who does it, how its done, and how it has been changing over time. That having been said, the book is also sprinkled with many tangents which tend to distract from the main points, but if you enjoy texts about the intelligence community, you'll enjoy this. It is fairly well written, not overly techy and/or dry. Are you listening to me?

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miles 01-26-16
    Miles 01-26-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eye Opening & Interesting"
    Would you listen to Chatter again? Why?

    Yes and I will probably will. There is a lot to take in. I often found myself jotting down notes of interesting things to look into later.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning about the cooperative intelligence program between the US and the UK, WWII-era intelligence, and the transition between pre-9/11 to post-9/11. Mixed in all of that are all these anecdotes of folks who were there along the way.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Robertson Dean?

    Yes, he came off a little stilted at times but it made the subject matter clear and easy to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyle Houston, TX, United States 05-12-11
    Lyle Houston, TX, United States 05-12-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good"

    Robertson Dean was the perfect choice as narrator for this book. The author does a good job of informing about echelon, but due to the secretive nature of it there's just not all that much red meat in the book. Still, I found it interesting and worth reading. A book on this topic could easily have turned out to be a kooky conspiracy theory trash-can liner, but it's not.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Harrisburg, NC, USA 01-21-06
    Steven Harrisburg, NC, USA 01-21-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A Must Read for 2006 Survival"

    During early 2006, it became clear that political forces exploiting the technical collection capabilities of the NSA have been at work for a long time monitoring citizens of the US.

    This book is a "Survival Must Read" whatever your political affiliation or level of understanding. Too few Americans grasp the incredible technology capable of intruding into their personal privacy. Our basic thoughts regarding Privacy and Constitutional Rights are ill-formed at best. Perhaps we trust the political process too much? Maybe or perhaps we are just unaware.

    Patrick Keefe has written a remarkably well articulated and politically neutral documentary. This excellent work will help the reader/listener understand technical collection (SIGINT), aka 'evesdropping' from beginning to end. More importantly, Mr. Keefe explores the political, constitutional and moral implications to such a superb degree, that the reader becomes empowered to form his/her own opinions in a well developed and mature manner.

    If you want to survive the spin regarding the NSA and associated political monkey-business, this book is a "Must Read".

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lazaro CancunMexico 07-22-05
    Lazaro CancunMexico 07-22-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Need to know what is going on with Big Brother"

    Can?t stop listening it. Great book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rohit Falls Church, VA, USA 03-16-08
    Rohit Falls Church, VA, USA 03-16-08 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    380
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Below expectations"

    Wow! You mean the government is listening to us? I had no idea. The book has a few interesting points to make but it jumps around too much.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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.