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NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text

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posted on May, 5 2015 @ 10:32 AM
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Most people realize that emails and other digital communications they once considered private can now become part of their permanent record.

But even as they increasingly use apps that understand what they say, most people don’t realize that the words they speak are not so private anymore, either.

Top-secret documents from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency can now automatically recognize the content within phone calls by creating rough transcripts and phonetic representations that can be easily searched and stored.



NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text

"The documents show NSA analysts celebrating the development
of what they called “Google for Voice” nearly a decade ago."

“How would we ever know if they change the policy?”


edit on 5-5-2015 by wasaka because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 5 2015 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: wasaka

That has been true for decades.

It was a heck of a lot easier to store text than audio. Now with a yottabyte of storage however, it can all be saved.
edit on 5-5-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 10:54 AM
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Does this mean that if I say that the NSA are a bunch of spying louzy c**** in my own language. ...they're reading it out in american English?

Then I'll repeat that.

Just hoping they'll certainly read it I'll just say the words: bomb and terrorist ... for that reason.



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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My wife and kids can't always understand what I say so unless that computer program is proficient in medical words it might have a processor attack since they do not have a heart.



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 11:29 AM
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I don't think there's much to worry about as far as transcribing phone calls to text. I have a Google voice account that attempts to transcribe phone messages to text. Most times the text is so unintelligible that I have no idea what the message is without listening to the actual recording.



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 11:35 AM
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I'll say this once again...

The NSA is buried under an avalanche of data to the point where it's paralyzed. Right now, the predictive computational power isn't available to make use of the information. The information is only valuable if you have a specific person of interest, or want to investigate someone after they commit a crime.

The NSA suffers from the "False Positive Paradox"



The false positive paradox is a statistical result where false positive tests are more probable than true positive tests, occurring when the overall population has a low incidence of a condition and the incidence rate is lower than the false positive rate. The probability of a positive test result is determined not only by the accuracy of the test but by the characteristics of the sampled population


Here's an example using the fictional "Super AIDS" to demonstrate how the false positive paradox works:



Say you have a new disease, called Super-AIDS. Only one in a million people gets Super-AIDS. You develop a test for Super-AIDS that's 99 percent accurate. I mean, 99 percent of the time, it gives the correct result -- true if the subject is infected, and false if the subject is healthy. You give the test to a million people.

One in a million people have Super-AIDS. One in a hundred people that you test will generate a "false positive" -- the test will say he has Super-AIDS even though he doesn't. That's what "99 percent accurate" means: one percent wrong. What's one percent of one million? 1,000,000/100 = 10,000 One in a million people has Super-AIDS. If you test a million random people, you'll probably only find one case of real Super-AIDS. But your test won't identify one person as having Super-AIDS. It will identify 10,000 people as having it. Your 99 percent accurate test will perform with 99.99 percent inaccuracy.

That's the paradox of the false positive. When you try to find something really rare, your test's accuracy has to match the rarity of the thing you're looking for. If you're trying to point at a single pixel on your screen, a sharp pencil is a good pointer: the pencil-tip is a lot smaller (more accurate) than the pixels. But a pencil-tip is no good at pointing at a single atom in your screen. For that, you need a pointer -- a test -- that's one atom wide or less at the tip.

Here is an application to terrorism:

Terrorists are really rare. In a city of twenty million like New York, there might be one or two terrorists, maybe up to ten. 10/20,000,000 = 0.00005 percent, one twenty-thousandth of a percent. That's pretty rare. Now, say you have software that can sift through all the bank-records, or toll-pass records, or public transit records, or phone-call records in the city and catch terrorists 99 percent of the time. In a pool of twenty million people, a 99 percent accurate test will identify two hundred thousand people as being terrorists. But only ten of them are terrorists. To catch ten bad guys, you have to investigate two hundred thousand innocent people.

Wikipedia



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: Daalder

Apparently if you say NSA 3 times in front of a mirror at the stroke of midnight Vice-admiral Michael Rogers jumps out and probes you in the nether regions! True story, honest engines.

edit on 5-5-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:01 PM
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originally posted by: N3k9Ni
I don't think there's much to worry about as far as transcribing phone calls to text. I have a Google voice account that attempts to transcribe phone messages to text. Most times the text is so unintelligible that I have no idea what the message is without listening to the actual recording.


I was going to say the same thing. As a matter fact, just the other day I called my wife in response to a VM transcribe that came in on my freshly upgraded phone. I did not know it was a VM transcribe as it popped up on top of my screen like a text message but it read something to the effect of asking an old friend's name some weird things about going to the store. We had not been on contact with this friend for a while and I was so surprised by the mention of her name that I called my wife. I read her the transcribed text and she just laughed and asked if I actually listened to the voice message because what I read to her was 90% or more inaccurate. So, I wonder if the NSA will actually go back to the Voice Recordings that the word searches reveal and actually listen to them. If not, a lot of people may find themselves in some red tape.


I am definitely not a fan of this technology and unsubscribed from it. May the NSA never read my spoken words, too!



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:15 PM
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One of the many reasons that I'm happy to have a broad Scots accent!

Mon the Ennessaaay!
Kinyegetahaunowhitamoanabootnooyabaams??? LOL
G



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: Gordi The Drummer

ayeakenanlessadabaamsyanumpty.
LoL

Point taken all the same.

edit on 5-5-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:37 PM
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Bad news is that commercially available version of this are out there.

www.raytheon.com...

I can imagine that there's probably a commercial version of that but for cell phones. Take that and attach it to a police run stingray.

Privacy violations galore.



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:42 PM
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a reply to: wasaka

Since the NSA was taken or I may say given to the private sectors in the name of contractors they are nothing but a government backed private entity spying on Americans for profits, including the testing of new gadgets of all kind.

They are an unconstitutional entity and should be dismantle.



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:45 PM
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a reply to: marg6043

Well said, and may i say thats got to make one of there lists.

edit on 5-5-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:47 PM
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Funny they call it "Google for voice" because with Google you can create a free "Google Voice" account, and you will get a free phone number which you can then use to forward calls to any of your real phone numbers. You also get a Google voicemail, which will transcribe the voice messages into text and send it to you in email if you ever miss a call, which you can then search for. Pretty much the same tech that NSA is talking about.



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:49 PM
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a reply to: andy06shake

I believe it, it was during the Bush, Rumsfeld years that the NSA was transferred into private hands and run by private contractors, so is fair to say that they will be using us the citizens as testing mice for their latest technology that later on will bring profits to the private companies when sold to the government.



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:51 PM
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a reply to: marg6043

Well Human-beings do seem to make the better lab rat these days, or so it seems.



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:52 PM
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let's also remember that any audio speaker can be converted into a microphone, and smartphones have patents that let both the camera and audio to be turned on without the user knowing about it....anything with voice command can do the same, inside a vehicle you can be listened to....it's a brave new world out there, kiddies...makes a pencil and paper seem almost like a secret spy communicator.
edit on 5-5-2015 by jimmyx because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:56 PM
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The information they mass collect is only useful if they decide to target you. To be honest, I'm not a very interesting person, so my information probably gets lost among the zillions of terabytes of information out there.

I'm not terribly worried about mass data collection. I have a fundamental problem with the idea of it -- but what it collects really is crap information anyway that can't be used unless I am specifically am targeted.



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: jimmyx

Here is one for you... LEDs can be used as cameras (kinda). So perhaps those LED displays and TVs are doubling as cameras and we don't realize it.

Turning LEDs Into A Camera



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 03:02 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Trust me you count, we all count, the habits of consumers, counts, that is the data mine part of it, because they also collect data for propaganda advertisement among many others targets that can be sold




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