Wikileaks’ SpyFiles

Have been meaning to cover this. Have not found the time to go through all the PDFs.

(Footnote: This is what SnowdenLeaks is doing right — ensuring the leaks are nicely pre-digested by trained analysts-err-journalists, and released at a halfway manageable pace, because nobody really has time to read the raw stuff.)

So, let’s look at one that caught my eye:

Acoustic phased array. Simple idea, been around in various implementations for at least a few years. I’ve mentioned before bodyworn versions of this being used by surveillance teams (see a previous SpyFiles for the relevant brochure) to capture “secure” conversations walking down the street.

Now have a closer look. Equipped with a camera, this gadget lets you pick out up to five spots and listen to the conversation at those spots… and then change your picks “on replay.”

(In other words, it’s recording the full take from all the microphones and then processing on demand.)

Other brochures talk about hiding the microphone array in fake spare tires (hanging off the backs of Jeeps), for example.

Implications: the walls have ears… even if the walls are far away, the room is noisy, and crowds are everywhere.

Ever look up at airport baggage claims, you know, the ones right before customs where you have to claim your suitcase — BUT NOT OPEN IT! — and then proceed forward to the “red” and “green” lanes to find out if they think you’re a drug mule?

I’ve always wondered if the conveniently perforated dropped ceilings conceal a wide-area version of one of these, perhaps feeding a voice-recognition algorithm with a dash of voice stress analysis tossed in for good measure.

Pro tip: probably not a good idea to whisper “crap, I hope we don’t get searched” to your travelling companion(s) as you wait for your bag on the conveyor 🙂

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