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NOVA; Spy Factory, The


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Spy Factory, The
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Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

For the first time on television, NOVA exposes the hidden world of the high-tech, 21st century eavesdropping carried out by the National Security Agency or NSA. Today, the NSA is the world's largest intelligence agency, three times the size of the CIA and far more secret. Its mission is to eavesdrop on the world - from cell phones in Europe to pay phones in Afghanistan to e-mail messages from Pakistan to Baghdad. But since 9/11, it has also turned its giant ear inward, listening in without warrant on thousands of American citizens, many of whom are on the government's secret watch list, now more than half-a-million names long. Based on the latest bestseller by journalist James Bamford, INSIDE THE SPY FACTORY is a gripping investigation of the NSA from its tragic failures leading up to the 9/11 attacks to its secret listening rooms currently installed in the nation's telecom networks. The program presents groundbreaking new evidence on how the agency listened in to the phone calls of key 9/11 plotters yet failed to alert the FBI. To show how current eavesdropping technology works, NOVA traces the path of an e-mail sent from Asia to the U.S. via fiber optic cables on the Pacific seafloor. From a beach in California, the e-mail then travels to a telecom switching facility in San Francisco, where the cables are covertly duplicated, with one copy of everything - including the original e-mail - going to NSA's secret room and the other transmitted to its proper destination. Inside the Spy Factory is a suspenseful and eye-opening report on the threat to privacy and the effectiveness of high-tech surveillance in the age of terrorism.



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Broadcast program

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Chicago: “NOVA; Spy Factory, The,” 10/28/2009, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 17, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_053562BD2DFE4180A6F5F97326DD97AD.
MLA: “NOVA; Spy Factory, The.” 10/28/2009. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 17, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_053562BD2DFE4180A6F5F97326DD97AD>.
APA: NOVA; Spy Factory, The. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_053562BD2DFE4180A6F5F97326DD97AD
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