Friday, February 23, 2007

Wiretapping and Translating

The FBI is translating over 1000 wiretapped conversations a day. An excerpt from David Kaplan’s US News & World Report article:


Spurred by adding hundreds of new linguists and help from allies overseas, the FBI is translating a record 34,000 wiretapped conversations a month, bureau officials tell the
Bad Guys blog. Long criticized for its lack of language specialists, the FBI, they say, is finally catching up to an unprecedented intake of foreign-language surveillance recordings, electronic data, and text since 9/11.

Most of the wiretaps are tied to counterterrorism and counterintelligence cases, officials say. Since 9/11, the FBI's counterterrorism agents, in particular, have collected a mother lode of intelligence. In a widely overlooked report to the Senate Judiciary Committee in November, bureau officials ticked off their counterterrorism take over the past four years:

519,217 hours of audio

5,508,217 electronic data files

1,847,497 pages of text

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