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17 Segments




The Real Life of a Private Eye

Irwin Blye is a private investigator who has coauthored a book about his trade. He joins Fresh Air to talk about what his day-to-day work looks like--in contrast to the detectives of novels and films.


Writer Sue Halpern Discusses Solitude.

Sue Halpern has written the new book "Migrations to Solitude," which explores the other side of privacy: seclusion. She visited a monastery in Kentucky, whose monks have vowed a life of silence, a prisoner in solitary confinement, and others, drawing out what it's like to be inescapably alone, and how people's versions of privacy differ. (Pantheon Books)


Journalist Jeffrey Rothfeder Proves that Privacy is for Sale

Rothfeder has just written a new book called "Privacy for Sale: How Computerization Has Made Everyone's Private Life an Open Secret." Using Dan Quayle and Dan Rather as examples, Rothfeder shows how easy it is to get access to a person's personal life -- such as a their birthdate, unlisted phone number, financial status, health status, and even what prescription drugs you take and where you shop -- all through a computer.


Writer Martin Amis on Literary Jealousy

Amis is the author of The Information. The book is about rivalry in the literary world, which some have said parallels Amis' own life. Britain's literary world was shocked when Amis demanded a half-million pound advance on The Information, supposedly to pay for his divorce and costly dental work, and then dumped his long-time agent, who was also the wife of his best friend. The New York Times has called The Information "an uncompromising and highly ambitious novel that should also be a big popular hit."


O'Harrow's 'No Place to Hide' from Surveillance

Robert O'Harrow, Jr. is a reporter for The Washington Post and an associate of the Center for Investigative Reporting. His new book is about how the government is creating a national intelligence infrastructure with the help of private companies as part of homeland security. Huge data-mining operations are contracted by the government to gather information on our daily lives. Information technology has enabled retailers, marketers, and financial institutions to gather and store data about us.


Our Digital Lives, Monitored By A Hidden 'Numerati'

Many people generate an immense amounts of digital data during a single day — often without a second thought. But Stephen Baker, a senior writer at BusinessWeek, warns that the information generated is being monitored by a group of entrepreneurial mathematicians.


Calling It 'Metadata' Doesn't Make Surveillance Less Intrusive

Whether it's logs of phone calls or GPS data, commentator Geoff Nunberg says it still says a lot about who you are: "Tell me where you've been and who you've been talking to, and I'll tell you about your politics, your health, your sexual orientation, your finances," he says.


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