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My experience with live monitoring of communication systems

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posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 04:50 AM
Well, its is very likely it has been discussed in some thread previously, but since I had a personal experience, I feel compelled to share it with you. It is not classified. It is not denied. It is not from out of this world. But it is pretty damn cool... and chilling.

Very recently I attended a local software security seminar where we had a speaker from IBM. The topic was SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) security and related stuff. During his presentation the IBM representative mentioned that one of their clients is the the US government of-course. He displayed a nice abstracted schematic of their service structure, explaining how all the branches of the army and civil services have access to each others data.

Then he added that Homeland Security is also plugged into this network and went into some depth about the Homeland Security abilities. There were a few that took me a bit by surprise by their level of complexity.

First data analysis. Programs are running constantly looking for patterns in the banking, airlines, car-license etc etc systems and between them, trying to identify potential terrorists. He said that on retrospect their program could identify links between all the perps in the 9/11 attack - stuff like using the same frequent flyer miles, using same ATM somewhere etc. Obviously we did not get a detailed overview of the abilities.

Secondly one more program running on the Homeland Security from IBM is listening to foreign TV channels, translating the audio in real time into English text, allowing search and pattern recognition based on that also. His examples were from Chinese and Arabic channels and we also saw a video of the user-interface in action. As I inquired about the precision of the translation he was a bit vague, giving me later a figure of 90-95% or so. I do not know how they measure that - i am sure it does not mean that 9 out of 10 words are translated, but something more complex

Thirdly in connection with the previous point, he said that there are sort of 'babelfish' boxes in use by troops in Iraq. Soldiers speak English and the box translates it into local language. And back again. Pretty cool and effective I imagine. No need to use local translators any more, who would just get shot as traitors anyway.

As I said - none of these technologies are THAT complicated, but they all seemed advanced enough for me. Also what is important is that these are commercial, non-classified technologies, which should give us an idea of how much more advanced the BEST stuff must be. I also asked the guy if they are under any restrictions as to who they can sell these technologies to and he said that not really - that the regular US customs regulations apply about selling to rogue nations, but thats all.

Anyways, thanks for reading. Happy I got this off my chest

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 05:00 AM
Nice report, Alphart. I'm not surprised about the first or second technology, but for sure was about the third... the 'Bablefish Boxes'.

Is there any way to get some more detailed information on them? They'd be a handy business application in this globe-trotting, multi-cultural world and I want one.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 05:05 AM
He actually offered to show me a video about them, but since all his equipment was already shut down and I was the last one in the room, I politely declined and took off at that point.

According to him the device also has display attached which shows both languages in text form also, for those who cannot hear... And quite possibly to aid in the communication. Since the translation has to be:
audio lang 1-> text lang 1 -> text lang 2 -> audion lang 2
there has to be a speech synthesizer also. I imagine it is always good to have the text in front of you when you hear the synthesizer speak.

Beyond that, I know nothing unfortunately

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 05:17 AM
I'm sure our membership, many of whom have served or are still serving in Iraq, will have the answer on this tool, Alphart. It's only a matter of time.

I'll shortly be in Toronto for 3 days and that 'translator box' would sure be handy there.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 10:30 AM
You mean like this kind of stuff?

BBN's Broadcast Monitoring System

And like this kind of stuff?

BBN's TransTalk System

It pretty neat stuff, alright!

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