Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Download recordings of alleged destabilization tape –

Transcript at PCIJ blog

I don’t do much politics, but for those out of the loop, the government has recently released some tapes of conversations allegedly edited to make it look like the President has been participating in electoral fraud.

I’m actually more interested in the tech part of this – these are supposedly mobile phone taps, so I guess they should have come from the mobile service provider?

I remember reading in a Hardy Boys volume way back when I was a kid, how each person’s voice signature was unique, such that we would have machines that could verify if a certain person did indeed say a given speech recording. Is this still true today, with the advent of digital audio editing? Would people who edit conversations be able to create fake voices that accurately mimic the voiceprint of other people?

Should there be a way to check if the recordings really have been altered? I don’t know if the mobile service providers routinely keep logs of phone calls… but if they do, it should be easy enough to check the recordings against any originals logged by the phone company. Although I guess it would be optimistic to assume that even if they did keep recordings, they would be able keep all their tapes since June of last year. That would consume an awful lot of space.

I guess that means this is really a wiretap. Of course, it’s hard to imagine how the term applies since mobile phones don’t have wires. I’m not really aware how one “taps” wireless technology. Does it involve some sort of interception of the communications? I would think such communications would be encrypted such that only the authorized recipients would be able to receive and decrypt them. But maybe that’s too much to expect…

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