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Download Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping Audiobook

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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (165 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patrick Radden Keefe Narrator: Patrick Radden Keefe Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2005 ISBN: 9780739318300
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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 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.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 7/15/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 7/7/2013

    " This was a very interesting book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan | 5/28/2013

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 2/7/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 2/2/2013

    " Good companion to Bamford's Body of Secrets. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will Byrnes | 1/10/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim Martin | 11/13/2012

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Piper | 10/23/2012

    " Exceptionally well written. Insightful. A look into signal intelligence capturing by the Anglo alliance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheldon | 3/12/2012

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 10/28/2011

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 M0rfeus | 7/12/2011

    " too liberal in outlook. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg Stoll | 2/10/2011

    " Interesting and balanced overview of SIGINT. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan | 1/10/2011

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 9/12/2009

    " Good companion to Bamford's Body of Secrets. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 3/3/2009

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Weavre | 1/8/2009

    " 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 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 11/1/2008

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 2/27/2008

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 9/22/2007

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

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About the Author
Author Patrick Radden Keefe

Patrick Radden Keefe is a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine, where he has been a contributor since 2006. A graduate of Yale Law School, he is a non-practicing lawyer and a fellow at The Century Foundation, a policy think tank in Washington, DC. A former Marshall Scholar, he is also the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.