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.
"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)
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?
Chatter sheds light on many failures of the intelligence community and specifically the NSA. However, the author, fails to understand and deliver the reasons "why?". His left leaning rhetoric gets in the way of what could have been a well written evaluation of the NSA and SIGINT at large. One example, author complains about polygraph examiners instead of linguists being hired after 9/11, without understanding how the linguist needs were being met by the NSA and the agency's need for examiners instead of more linguists.
Chatter maybe worth buying 75% off from the deeply discounted shelves outside Barnes and Nobles. Otherwise save your Audible credit, and read the book's mediocre highlights online.
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.
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".
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.
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