SIGINTers Use Human Language Technology to Great Advantage

Jan. 19 2018 — 12:04p.m.


DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL (TS//SI//REL) SIGINTers Use Human Language Technology to Great Advantage, Isolate Conversation about Threat to US Official FROM: Special Collection Service (SCS) Mexico City Run Date: 09/14/2010 (TS//SI//REL) SCS Mexico City has been a test bed for human-language technology (HLT) translation and selection software since May 2010. This capability, which the site's chief compares to a cadre of extra scanners, allows language analysts to sift through hundreds of hours of voice cuts in a matter of seconds and select items of potential interest based on keywords or speaker voice recognition. The results have been dramatic. (U) US Embassy in Mexico City (TS//SI//REL) In all of 2009, the site issued approximately 20 reports based on voice collection. By contrast, in just three months of 2010 (May - July), the site produced 33 reports, all of which were selected using HLT software. Not only does HLT allow site analysts to save hundreds of hours scanning through an impossible volume of voice cuts, it allows the site to focus on the intelligence items of greatest importance to local and national customers. (TS//SI//REL) The utility of this capability was vividly highlighted on 2 August. The site was informed that a bomb threat had been received by Mexico City's emergency hotline, with the location, make, and tag number of the vehicle where the bomb reportedly had been placed. When Mexico City police responded, they discovered that the vehicle in question belonged to a U.S. Embassy official. Though no bomb was found in or on the car, SCS Mexico City immediately began searching for reflections of this bomb threat, using HLT to sift through over 1,300 voice conversations from 1 and 2 August using the key word "bomba." (TS//SI//REL) The filter returned 40 results, and the third hit on the list turned out to be a Mexican Center for Investigation and National Security official investigating the bomb threat. HLT allowed the site to isolate the conversation of interest in less than four minutes, a task that might previously have taken all of the site's linguists the better part of the day to accomplish. (U//FOUO) Editor's note: Click HERE for info on HLT Labs, and see also a micro-video . "(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)." DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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