Sep 222012
 
 September 22, 2012  Surveillance

Ryan Gallagher reports:

Intercepting thousands of phone calls is easy for government agencies. But quickly analyzing the calls and identifying the callers can prove a difficult task.

Now one company believes it has solved the problem—with a countrywide biometric database designed to store millions of people’s “voice-prints.”

Russia’s Speech Technology Center, which operates under the name SpeechPro in the United States, has invented what it calls “VoiceGrid Nation,” a system that uses advanced algorithms to match identities to voices. The idea is that it enables authorities to build up a huge database containing up to several million voices—of known criminals, persons of interest, or people on a watch list. Then, when authorities intercept a call and they’re not sure who is speaking, the recording is entered into the VoiceGrid and it comes up with a match. It takes just five seconds to scan through 10,000 voices, and so long as the recording is decent quality and more than 15 seconds in length, the accuracy, SpeechPro claims, is at least 90 percent.

Read more on Slate.

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