American Radioworks and Marketplace Expose the Tension Between Technology and Privacy in Radio Special "No Place to Hide"

Contact: Connie Molby
(651) 290-1113

American Radioworks and Marketplace Expose the Tension Between Technology and Privacy in Radio Special "No Place to Hide"

Hour-long special to broadcast on public radio stations nationwide in January; shorter report to air during Marketplace on January 19.

WHAT: Almost every aspect of our lives is being recorded by someone, somewhere. Every time we buy milk and bread, a pair of jeans or CD, information is being collected and stored. Computers track when we surf the Net, absorb the details from consumer surveys, note when and where we use our cell phones. For years, billions of personal records have been used to improve direct marketing and customer management. Now, without your permission, those files are fast becoming a part of the war on terror and efforts to bolster homeland security.

No Place to Hide is a new investigative project from the Center for Investigative Reporting and Washington Post reporter Robert OíHarrow. OíHarrow, who has written this new book about how, since 9/11, private surveillance companies have joined forces with government agencies to create a new world of high-tech domestic spying, with few rules to guide and protect us, also collaborated with American RadioWorks producer John Biewen to create "No Place to Hide," the radio and Internet documentary.

In American RadioWorks’ radio and Internet documentary, "No Place to Hide," O’Harrow and Biewen show key players in the information industry, counter-intelligence officials who have turned to the private sector for help and some of the "regular" people swept up in the ever-expanding digital net.

TUNE IN: American RadioWorks’ "No Place to Hide" radio documentary will air on public radio stations nationwide in January. An abridged version of the documentary will air on January 19 on public radio stations nationwide during Marketplace. Check local radio listings for times and stations in your area or visit

ONLINE: Audio and transcripts of the radio project are available now at including interviews with:

  • John Ashcroft
    U.S. Attorney General, led the Bush administration’s drive to push through the USA Patriot Act in the fall of 2001. That law undid a generation of restraints on the gathering and sharing of domestic intelligence.

  • John Poindexter, former director of the Pentagon’s research and development arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). As national security adviser in the Reagan administration he was a leading figure in the Iran-Contra scandal. In 1990 he was convicted of multiple felonies, including conspiracy, obstruction of justice and lying to Congress. The convictions were ultimately reversed because of immunity agreements covering his Senate testimony. After September 11, 2001, DARPA hired Poindexter to head its Information Awareness Office and its Total Information Awareness program.

  • Patrick Leahy, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. Senate. As the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Leahy led his party’s negotiations over the USA Patriot Act in the six weeks following the 9-11 attacks.

  • Viet Dinh, primary author of the USA Patriot Act.

  • Chris Pyle, who helped reveal the Army’s vast domestic spying program in 1970.

  • Michael Berry, an identity theft victim warned by police that he might be arrested at any time — for murder, the crime police said was committed by the man who allegedly took on Berryís persona.

WHO: "No Place to Hide" is part of a unique multimedia collaboration led by Robert O’Harrow, Jr. and supported by the Center for Investigative Reporting. In addition to the book, O’Harrow’s reporting also led to an hour-long documentary for ABC News co-produced with Peter Jennings Productions to air January 20, 2005; a one-hour documentary for public radio, co-produced with American RadioWorks and distributed by American Public Media to air in January 2005; and article for The Washington Post Magazine. Links and more information about this project can be found at

Robert OíHarrow, Jr. is a reporter at The Washington Post and is an associate of the Center for Investigative Reporting. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for articles on privacy and technology and a recipient of the 2003 Carnegie Mellon Cyber Security Reporting Award.

Amercian RadioWorks correspondent-producer John Biewen has produced a large body of work on economic and social issues, as well as investigative reports and historical documentaries. Biewen is based oat the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in Durham, N. C.