The Spy Factory

Last night, 2.03.09, the PBS News Hour had a preview of what could be an eye opening report on the National Security Agency that might just answer some of the many questions about what has been going on in the previous administration, and before, and may continue from now on!

The preview was of a show to air tonight, 2.04.09, on PBS NOVA NOVA Examines Spying in Post-9/11 World

This is what was on the News Hour:

Three times the size of the CIA, the National Security Agency includes top linguists, mathematicians, and technologists trained to decipher all kinds of communications. The NewsHour previews NOVA's report, "The Spy Factory," that examines the NSA's spy technology and what it means for ordinary Americans' privacy and security.

You can watch with this link

Or listen with this link

The Spy Factory - Airs on NOVA Feb 3rd '09 at 8pm est, you will be able to watch the show online from Feb. 4th.

They have a few interesting links at the NOVA show site:

Ask the Expert
Author James Bamford answers viewer questions about the NSA, 9/11, and more.

Investigating 9/11
Eleanor Hill, who led congressional hearings on the attacks, discusses pre-9/11 intelligence failures in this interview. {much more at link}

The New Thought Police
George Orwell's secret police have nothing on two new NSA systems designed to read people's minds.

With the entire Internet and thousands of databases for a brain, the device will be able to respond almost instantaneously to complex questions posed by intelligence analysts. As more and more data is collected—through phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records—it may one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think.

The system is so potentially intrusive that at least one researcher has quit, citing concerns over the dangers in placing such a powerful weapon in the hands of a top-secret agency with little accountability. {much more at link}

Decoding Speech
If you think computers can easily recognize and transcribe spoken language, think again.
This is a NOVA Podcast, brings up a player window, that is 51/2 minutes long, called "How can computers decipher spoken language."

Watch the Program. Come back beginning February 4, 2009 to watch the full program online here. You can watch a preview of the program now.

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Program Participants The Spy Factory

Author, "The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America"

Body of Secrets - About the Author

NSA Director of Research, 2002-2005

Former Staff Director, House Intelligence Committee

Former CIA Analyst

Former FBI Supervisory Agent

NSA Executive Director, 1999-2001

Staff Director, Congressional 9/11 Committee

NSA Director, 1999-2005

Former AT&T Technician

Internet Systems Consortium

Former NSA Voice Interceptor

Former NSA Voice Interceptor

Looks like 'Big Brother' is alive and well in this country, to what extent will certain people carry it beyond what some already have done, and how will it change societies and our ideologies!

No votes yet


WASHINGTON (Feb. 3, 2009) - President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate L. Tammy Duckworth, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, to be the Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).


"Effective communications with Veterans and VA's stakeholders is key to improving our services and ensuring Veterans receive the benefits they deserve," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "Tammy Duckworth brings significant talent, leadership and personal experience to this important work."


As assistant secretary, Duckworth will direct VA's public affairs, internal communications and intergovernmental relations. She also will oversee programs for homeless Veterans, consumer affairs and special rehabilitative events.


The press release isn't up at the site yet, I just got it through an e-alert from the VA, so if clicking the above link you won't be able to read the rest just yet.


"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."