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Watch What You Say: Snowden Docs Reveal NSA's Spoken Word Archive


Watch What You Say: Snowden Docs Reveal NSA's Spoken Word Archive

Common Dreams staff

In addition to vacuuming up troves of emails, web searches, and other written records, the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) had devised a way to collect spoken communication as well, according to documents from the leaked archive of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and reported on Tuesday by The Intercept.


What else could be expected from a feral rogue agency run by traitors?
The key thing to note is the NSA hasn’t prevented even one attack, not one. If they had they would have taken out full page advertisements in every media in the world. Just inept traitors like the rest of the feral gov.


The NSA is a government jobs program, you don’t actually expect them to do anything besides feed at the public trough do you?


How can the bipartisan hacks manufacture more consent to their bipartisan hack work if they do not know our every utterance and thought?

Don’t worry about any of it, however, as long as your channel surfing buttons keep working. Because they also need to know where else you are getting indoctrinated.


We should be very concerned that they’re trying, but this [quote]extensive use of keyword searching as well as computer programs designed to analyze and ‘extract’ the content of voice conversations, and even use sophisticated algorithms to flag conversations of interest.[/quote] …is just a fear rumor. It’s main effect would be to cause honest people to self-censor lest they run afoul of some faceless, literally-inhuman spy that would rat them out for a factually-innocent conversation…

The proof that it’s just a fear rumour is that even humans can’t do what’s being claimed, for any body of communication between adults who are even slightly sensitive to their being snooped on. Strong regional or ethnic accents, the use of in-group jargon or cant, the inclusion of metaphor or analogy–all these things will stump even native speakers who’re trying to make sense of what they’re hearing.

Anyone who doesn’t believe that should get together with a couple of friends, have the friends covertly agree a topic of conversation, and then as the friends communicate briefly about it, try to decode what they’re saying about whatever they’re talking about. It ain’t easy.


I must be missing what the actual news is here. Hasn’t this been known for, I dunno, a decade or so? (And speech-to-text software has been commercailly available for several decades.)


It is one concern, surely. It is also a concern that this be done when the citizen has a device.


Speech-to-text has indeed been around awhile --the late, ever-lamented Sir Terry Pratchett used a Dragon card to write his last books as the progressive atrophy of his brain made visual reading impossible.

But such devices presume that the speaker wants to be “understood” by the devices, something not true of people who are supposedly the targets of the snoopage.