In No Place to Hide, award-winning Washington Post reporter Robert O'Harrow, Jr., lays out in unnerving detail the post-9/11 marriage of private data and technology companies and government anti-terror initiatives to create something entirely new: a security-industrial complex. Drawing on his years of investigation, O'Harrow shows how the government now depends on burgeoning private reservoirs of information about almost every aspect of our lives to promote homeland security and fight the war on terror. Consider the following: When you use your cell phone, the phone company knows where you are and when. If you use a discount card, your grocery and prescription purchases are recorded, profiled, and analyzed. Many new cars have built-in devices that enable companies to track from afar details about your movements. Software and information companies can even generate graphical link-analysis charts illustrating exactly how each person in a room is related to every other -- through jobs, roommates, family, and the like. Almost anyone can buy a dossier on you, including almost everything it takes to commit identity theft, for less than fifty dollars. It may sound like science fiction, but it's the routine activity of the nation's fast-growing information industry and, more and more, its new partner the U.S. government. With unrivaled access, O'Harrow tells the inside stories of key players in this new world, from software inventors to counterintelligence officials. He reveals how the government is creating a national intelligence infrastructure with the help of private companies. And he examines the impact of this new security system on our traditional notions of civil liberties, autonomy, and privacy, and the ways it threatens to undermine some of our society's most cherished values, even while offering us a sense of security. This eye-opening examination takes readers behind the walls of secrecy and shows how we are rushing toward a surveillance society with few rules to guide and protect us. In this new world of high-tech domestic intelligence, there is literally no place to hide.
Robert O’Harrow Jr. is an award-winning reporter on the investigative unit at The Washington Post. O’Harrow is the author of No Place to Hide, Zero Day: The Threat in Cyberspace, and The Quartermaster, a biography of Montgomery C. Meigs. He was a contributor to the 2016 biography, Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power. He lives with his wife and son in Arlington, Virginia.
"Mr. O'Harrow provides in these pages an authoritative and vivid account of the emergence of a 'security-industrial complex' and the far-reaching consequences for ordinary Americans...an alarming vision of the future uncannily reminiscent of the world imagined by Orwell in 1984." -- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Today, we are constantly tagged, monitored, studied, sorted and tracked by a vast array of institutions and organizations -- private and public. As Robert O'Harrow, Jr., details in No Place to Hide, it is worse than we could ever have imagined. In this revealing book, O'Harrow makes clear that Americans need to think seriously about these issues now -- before it is too late for us to decide that we care." -- The Washington Post
"No Place to Hide might just do for privacy protection what Rachel Carson's Silent Spring did for environmental protection. [O'Harrow's] is the work of a careful, thorough, enterprising reporter." -- William Safire, The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews From Starbucks to the subway to the sidewalk, you are being watched....O'Harrow voices a clear concern over the ethics of such snooping...persuasively delineating how that information is abused and how unavoidable mistakes have profound consequences. A skillful chart of a surveillance society out of control.