China’s Real Time Voice Analysis Systems Drop Calls When People Mention the Word ‘Protest’

March 23rd, 2011

Flashback 2005: Narus Opens New Office in China, Signs Two Partner Agreements in Region; New Office Further Strengthens Narus Presence in Asia:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Narus, Inc., the leading Carrier-Class IP Platform software provider, announced its opening of a new office in Beijing, China, to support direct sales in China. In conjunction with this, Narus has signed two partner agreements, one with Beijing Taiji Information Security Technology Corporation Limited and the other with CITIC Guoan Information Technology Corporation Limited. These partners are widely recognized premier telecommunications vendors in China.

Related: Narus Stories on Cryptogon

Via: New York Times:

If anyone wonders whether the Chinese government has tightened its grip on electronic communications since protests began engulfing the Arab world, Shakespeare may prove instructive.

A Beijing entrepreneur, discussing restaurant choices with his fiancée over their cellphones last week, quoted Queen Gertrude’s response to Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” The second time he said the word “protest,” her phone cut off.

He spoke English, but another caller, repeating the same phrase on Monday in Chinese over a different phone, was also cut off in midsentence.

A host of evidence over the past several weeks shows that Chinese authorities are more determined than ever to police cellphone calls, electronic messages, e-mail and access to the Internet in order to smother any hint of antigovernment sentiment. In the cat-and-mouse game that characterizes electronic communications here, analysts suggest that the cat is getting bigger, especially since revolts began to ricochet through the Middle East and North Africa, and homegrown efforts to organize protests in China began to circulate on the Internet about a month ago.

“The hard-liners have won the field, and now we are seeing exactly how they want to run the place,” said Russell Leigh Moses, a Beijing analyst of China’s leadership. “I think the gloves are coming off.”

4 Responses to “China’s Real Time Voice Analysis Systems Drop Calls When People Mention the Word ‘Protest’”

  1. rotger Says:

    Thats so ridiculous. All you have to do is agree with your friends that “football game” = protest.
    Et voilà! million dollars real time voice analyser is now useless.

    “Hey Joe, I heard they is a football game tomorrow at the main sqquare..”

  2. Kevin Says:

    If this article is right, they seem to be running it completely free of context fitting.

  3. lagavulin Says:


    Sure, but the Chinese authorities don’t care if you and your friends want to protest. What they care about is if you and your friends are trying to incite 10,000+ people to protest, and you can’t do that by calling it a football game.

    Also, “protest” is just one of hundreds of trigger words. The average person doesn’t know what it is they’re saying that is going to trigger what type of action….

  4. Larry Glick Says:

    I know a fellow who sent out millions of e-mails with the word “jihad” in the body of the text. I wonder how many thousands of man hours NSA is expending to find out that this lead nowhere?

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