Pentagon Software Stores and Transcribes Thousands of Phone Calls at Once
Daniel G. J.
July 20, 2013
A shadowy research and development agency attached to the Pentagon is paying a computer scientist $300,000 to develop a means of transcribing thousands of telephone conversations into text at once.
This would enable the government to create a database containing thousands or millions of telephone conversations — at least a public version of such a database that likely already exists in some form.
The database could be easily searched by government agents employing a simple search engine. That means agencies like the National Security Agency would be able to keep a record of millions of phone conversations and pull up what you said at any time.
The project has the euphemistic name of “Blending Crowdsourcing for Fast, Cheap and Accurate Analysis of Spontaneous Speech,” and it is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. Wired magazine reported that the computer scientist being paid the $300,000 is Matt Lease of the University of Texas.
Wired writer Robert Beckhusen believes the ultimate goal of the project is to create a means of quickly transcribing telephone conversations into digital documents. That would make them far easier to read, store, and transmit. The ultimate goal is a database of conversations an agent could pull up on his computer.
CONNECTION TO NSA DATA COLLECTION?