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NOVA 13 Seasons 2009

prime

Available on Prime
Season 5
Available on Prime
(131) IMDb 6.9/10

7. The Spy Factory TV-PG CC

For the first time on television, NOVA exposes the hidden world of high-tech, 21st-century eavesdropping carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Starring:
James Bamford, Frank Blanco
Runtime:
55 minutes
Original air date:
February 3, 2009

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 5

Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Scott Willis
Starring James Bamford, Frank Blanco
Supporting actors David Murfee Faulk, Eric Haseltine, Michael Hayden, Eleanor Hill, Adrienne Kinne, Mark Klein, Robert L. Popp, Brian Reid, Mark Rossini, Tim Sample, Jay O. Sanders, Michael Scheuer
Season year 2010
Network PBS
Producers Paula Apsell, James Bamford, Laurie Cahalane, Patrick Carey, Michael Dolan, Lisa Mirowitz, Pamela Rosenstein, Stephen Sweigart, Melanie Wallace, Scott Willis
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 16, 2009
Format: DVD
Produced for the Nova television series, "The Spy Factory" is a one hour documentary showcasing riveting true stories drawn from the American government's National Security Agency. Providing an exploration and explanation of this top secret agency's inner workings in terms of its technological capabilities, limitations and procedures, "The Spy Factory" addresses the pivotal question of our time: Are Americans safer today after the horrific attacks of 9/11? Revealed is the shocking disclosure that the NSA knew the identities of key 9/11 conspirators and have even tracked them on American soil for at last five years prior to the incident. All this an more presents sobering, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking revelations of what the NSA is capable of accomplishing in terms of the effectiveness of high-tech surveillance in an age of terrorism -- and how the top echelons of the Bush administration failed us all. "The Spy Factory" is a highly recommended addition to community library DVD collections, and will prove to be of intense interest for non-specialist general viewers with an interest in national security issues.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Scheurich on April 4, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this video because of my interest in the NSA as I have had with dozens of Federal agencies. The one point that struck me odd was the crash of the computers at NSA at the most critical point just prior to 9/11. The reason it was odd is because the head of the NSA at the time only said that it was a critical time for their computer system to crash, erasing all data to date and unable to track the movements of the terrorists just prior to the attack on the world trade center's two towers, attack on the pentagon and the crash of another hi-jacked plane in a deserted field. I would have been suspicious of the coincident. The timing was too coincidental. I would have suspected it was an inside job and dug further but nothing else was mentioned. Was the NSA in on the attacks? What do they know they aren't revealing and why is it the Bush administration now claims we must give up our personal privacy. Sorry, but I don't trust a government run by religions and corporations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Afia TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 28, 2011
This NOVA show featured a once-in-40-year rat population explosion that eats all the farmers' rice crop. So every 40 years there is potential famine and social upheaval. Scientists discovered the reason - the once-in-40-year blooming of a bamboo plant. This specie of bamboo produces giant seeds that have plenty of food in them for the rats. The black rats have a unique ability to multiply quickly if there's a food source.

The amazing thing about this bamboo is the ability to accurately time production of these seeds. It does so this way to make sure there will be too many seeds for animals to eat and some will produce the next generation of bamboo.

I loved this show because it demonstrates how nature is the big determinant in our lives, at least some times. At the same time, I felt sorry for the villagers that have a difficult time with food production when this event occurs.
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Format: DVD
NASA has the largest collection of linguists, mathematicians, and computer experts in America at its Northern Virginia headquarters. NOVA documents how it has transitioned from tracking the Soviet Union (a large entity with a known location) to terrorists (numerous unknown small groups, at unknown locations), and in the process also reports evidence indicating an incredible failure to protect the nation pre-9/11, even though bin-Laden et al were being monitored from 1996, starting with his satellite phone and numerous calls to/from a house in Yemen's capital. Now technology has evolved and messages mostly travel on fiber-optic cables.

The basic problem - NSA did not share information with the FBI. No useful warnings were sounded prior to the embassy bombings in Africa, the Cole bombing, or even 9/11. Their primary excuse - sharing such information was banned by law; however, they could have obtained a FISA warrant, making this legal. The 9/11 Commission did little investigation of the NSA's role and failure prior to 9/11.

NSA has transitioned from monitoring too little to monitoring far too much, lacking good computer programs for zeroing in on the most important communications. This is made especially difficult by the fact that reference to eg. 'a milk bottle' may mean something entirely different.
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Format: DVD
This documentary looks at the secrecy of the NSA. It was made prior to the expose by Edward Snowden about the warrantless basis on which your every communication is being monitored by computer programs and by individuals if you are flagged for using the wrong word or in the wrong context.
You can run but you can't hide. The thought police are here and they know what you are thinking and where you are if you are interacting in any format.
What it didn't reveal but now it is readily available is that many microphones and cameras are hidden in fake trees and light poles at malls and other large gathering places and these are also used to monitor your actions and comments. If you think this is making you safer than think again. They knew about Osama Bin Laden before 1996 and had been watching him and his followers. They knew he was a threat....
Wake up, people. Anyone and everyone is suspicious.
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