Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping

Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping

Patrick Radden Keefe / Jun 17, 2019

Chatter Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping How does our government eavesdrop Whom do they eavesdrop on And is the interception of communication an effective means of predicting and preventing future attacks These are some of the questions at t

  • Title: Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping
  • Author: Patrick Radden Keefe
  • ISBN: 9781400060344
  • Page: 264
  • Format: Hardcover
  • How does our government eavesdrop Whom do they eavesdrop on And is the interception of communication an effective means of predicting and preventing future attacks These are some of the questions at the heart of Patrick Radden Keefe s brilliant new book, Chatter In the late 1990s, when Keefe was a graduate student in England, he heard stories about an eavesdropping netHow does our government eavesdrop Whom do they eavesdrop on And is the interception of communication an effective means of predicting and preventing future attacks These are some of the questions at the heart of Patrick Radden Keefe s brilliant new book, Chatter In the late 1990s, when Keefe was a graduate student in England, he heard stories about an eavesdropping network led by the United States that spanned the planet The system, known as Echelon, allowed America and its allies to intercept the private phone calls and e mails of civilians and governments around the world Taking the mystery of Echelon as his point of departure, Keefe explores the nature and context of communications interception, drawing together fascinating strands of history, fresh investigative reporting, and riveting, eye opening anecdotes The result is a bold and distinctive book, part detective story, part travel writing, part essay on paranoia and secrecy in a digital age.Chatter starts out at Menwith Hill, a secret eavesdropping station covered in mysterious, gargantuan golf balls, in England s Yorkshire moors From there, the narrative moves quickly to another American spy station hidden in the Australian outback from the intelligence bureaucracy in Washington to the European Parliament in Brussels from an abandoned National Security Agency base in the mountains of North Carolina to the remote Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia As Keefe chases down the truth of contemporary surveillance by intelligence agencies, he unearths reams of little known information and introduces us to a rogue s gallery of unforgettable characters We meet a former British eavesdropper who now listens in on the United States Air Force for sport an intelligence translator who risked prison to reveal an American operation to spy on the United Nations Security Council a former member of the Senate committee on intelligence who says that oversight is so bad, a lot of senators only sit on the committee for the travel.Provocative, often funny, and alarming without being alarmist, Chatter is a journey through a bizarre and shadowy world with vast implications for our security as well as our privacy It is also the debut of a major new voice in nonfiction.

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      264 Patrick Radden Keefe
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    About "Patrick Radden Keefe"

      • Patrick Radden Keefe

        Patrick Radden Keefe is the author of The Snakehead An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream Doubleday, July 2009 , which Kirkus calls a panoramic, international true crime adventure, and Publishers Weekly calls brillianta must read He writes frequently for The New Yorker, Slate, The New York Review of Books, and other magazines, and works as a fellow at the Century Foundation, a progressive policy think tank in Washington, DC Patrick is also the author of Chatter Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping Random House, 2005.


    1. I have read a bunch of books on spying and intelligence agencies over the years.Most of their authors allowed themselves the luxury of blurring the line between plainly observable / provable facts and wild flights of fanciful conjecture.This book is a refreshing change in that and other regards.Patrick Radden Keefe does an excellent job sketching in both broad and detailed strokes exactly what we do know about agencies like the NSA and their counterparts in the UK, AU and NZ and plainly states w [...]

    2. This is a remarkable book about "sigint" (signals intelligence). The first half is a chilling detailing of how telecommunications of all sorts are swept up by numerous listening stations around the world, a central part of a UK-USA agreement (including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand).The second half begins to wonder if the enormous amount of money spent by the NSA (and others) is worth it, given the tremendous failures of sigint to help prevent terrorist acts (notably September 11th, for exa [...]

    3. This book was my first introduction to real spy and listening posts and their history. I read it when it was first published and I recommend it highly. The author has done his homework and his writing style is clear and moves along without bogging down in inessentials. This is a history that more Americans (and others) need to know. It's been going on since 1945, at least.

    4. I'll give this book every possible benefit of the doubt -- because I can't prove what I think might be going on. Even in that scenario -- it's just a moderately shitty news article writ looong. And that's the best possible case. Just a shitty news article writ long. This author is an ass.

    5. Keefe showed more than one point of view. He showed the NSA's side, which was keeping everything very secretive. He also showed the views of the people of America, which was either uninformed or extremely informed, and people from other countries' point of views, whom seemed to know more than the average American. The book is very comprehensive and appropriate for the title. I would say it is slightly biased, he says things like "I was troubled", "It all sounded elusive to me", and "I found trou [...]

    6. I have to admit that I put off reading this book, because I was afraid that it's 300 pages would be some conspiratorial tirade against Signit and Echelon. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the way the author handles the topic. Keefe approaches the tender areas of signal intelligence in a very even way, containing many sides of this intensely debated issue, from conspiratorial web-enthusiasts to NSA officials Anyone interested in the NSA, CIA, or Signal Intelligence will enjoy this book, alt [...]

    7. Frightening and fascinating at the same time, I can't help but wonder a little if checking this book out from the library put me on some sort of watch list .Probably not.It's a book detailing some of the Sigint in the US, the agreements that the US has with UK and other allies, and the drawbacks and shortfalls that have happened in recent years. It was a good read and left me wanting to know more, but also slightly unsettled at the reach of our government and it's seeming incompetence. I suspect [...]

    8. Excellent survey of the Echelon system, very readable, filled with tons of great nerdy true hacker stories. The author maintains neutrality in a very difficult topic, which I don't like much, but I appreciate why he does it- to get through to the most people possible and let them decide for himself. His conclusion is that SIGINT does not really work, which I am sceptical of, and he focues' some on 9-11.

    9. A fascinating look at United States signals intelligence. It focuses on piecing together what little is known about Echelon, the intelligence-sharing alliance between the U.S U.K and a handful of other English-speaking countries. Very interesting stuff if you are at all curious about the intelligence gathering capabilities of our country.

    10. Amazing storytelling within a dense trove of US and global history that illustrates the underground connectedness of govt information pipelines. The power of global govts information systems depicted in this book feels far mightier than any headline or news story I've ever read (yet is rooted in documentation and doesn't bend into any kooky conspiracy theory).

    11. Absolutely fascinating. Highly recommended for Americans and Anglos interested in how their government operates. Keefe is very fair-handed. It's not a polemic attacking or defending the NSA and other agencies. He really is investigating what works, what doesn't, and the history and future of government surveillance.

    12. Because Keefe wrote Chatter as a private citizen rather than as an insider expert, he had trouble finding cooperative agencies (let's start with the NSA). The lack of insider information makes the book na_

    13. I'm listening to this book when I run, and it's really keeping me distracted from the agony of running on a treadmill. It's filled with the world of spies -- eavesdropping, interceptions, codes, and secrets. I really like learning about that sort of stuff, so it's a pleasure to read for me.

    14. Do you believe your government listens in on you? Well a lot more than you may think. Illegal? yes but the NSA and it's partners do it as a matter of course. All your e-mails all of your phone calls, your faxes, and your text messages. A wake up call written clearly and objectively.

    15. A little boring but the author did a good bit of research on the different eavesdropping installations around the world to put this book together. Since the material is based on research, and related news stories, it barely starts to scratch the surface of SIGINT but still has some good info.

    16. The search for Echelon, a fabled system that supposedly sees all, hears all, by a young law student in the UK. This is a look at the NSA and its facilities across the globe, the interactions between NSA and the agencies of other nations. An excellent first book by a promising new investigator.

    17. Good technical update in the line of Kahn and Bamford. Read Agee, Stockwell, Edwin Black for the real wold consequences.

    18. Interesting quasi-history of the "listening" game. If you are into the intelligence world / stories you'll probably like this one.

    19. Another, "Hey, I've read that!" I knew next to nothing about Menwith Hill, etc before reading this. It was a fascinating read.OST NON-FICTION ADULT STK 327.127 KEE

    20. Relevant reading in light of the ongoing FISA debate. The author is engaging on the complex evolution of global government surveillance.

    21. Holy crap reading that was prescient right before the NSA domestic spying scandal. Really interesting stuff, not especially detailed

    22. Interesting overview of the world of signals intelligence. Could do with updating though following recent leaks from Edward Snowden.

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