NOVA’s “Spy Factory” worries some viewers

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Some PBS viewers were concerned that the recent NOVA episode “The Spy Factory,” which details the National Security Agency’s intelligence gathering methods, provided secret or sensitive information to would-be terrorists, writes PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler, who praises the film for “[capturing] the extraordinary frustration among some of those in government” who observed how U.S. intelligence agencies–the CIA, FBI and NSA–failed to communicate with each other and connect the dots prior to the 9/11 attacks.  Getler includes viewer letters and a reply from NOVA execs: “Neither the producers nor NOVA sought any access to classified information, nor did the program reveal any classified information. The program is based on meticulous research of publicly available documents and records by James Bamford, author of the best-selling book The Shadow Factory and a foremost expert on the NSA.”

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