Power grid fluctuations hidden in audio recordings proved a powerful tool for police forensics

Audio and video recordings are important sources of evidence in criminal investigations, especially as more electronic devices are in use now than ever before. However, for recordings to be admissible, investigators often need to determine the time they were made, which can be difficult. Now, a team led by Vrizlynn Thing at the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), in collaboration with the Singapore Police Force, has developed an impressive new system that reliably estimates the time of recordings by identifying small fluctuations in the frequency of the electrical power grid.

The 'electrical network frequency' (ENF) of power grids is centered around 50 or 60 Hertz, and is picked up in audio recordings as a background hum. The ENF shifts up and down randomly, which provides each recording with a unique fingerprint that can be compared to the long-term records captured continuously and maintained at forensic labs.

Please click the image below to read the entire article.

Source: Phys.org

Fake Voices Will Become Worryingly Accurate

In 2018, fears of fake news will pale in comparison to new technology that can fake the human voice. This could create security nightmares. Worse still, it could strip away from each of us a part of our uniqueness. But companies, universities, and governments are already working furiously to decode the human voice for many applications. These range from better integration of our internet-of-things devices to enabling more natural interactions between humans and machines. Technologically adept nation states (the United States, China, and Estonia) have waded into this space and tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook also have special projects on voice.

Please click the image below to read the full article.

Source: RAND Corporation

Source: RAND Corporation