Starting from the “major issue” of protecting voice of protagonists questioned in reports and interviews, particularly in criminal matters, the company Swealink has developed Vox Protect, software guaranteeing the protection of witnesses, according to a press release from its President Christophe Henrotte. The result of four years of work led by this sound engineer, with several researchers, and supported by Riam, CNC, BPI and Inriq, this solution uses a random algorithm and, through its mode of operation, makes it possible to “protect both the voice of the witness, the user (the technician), and the software itself, in particular thanks to an anti-piracy key”, it is stated.
Until now, one of the means of protecting witnesses consists of modifying their voice by ” linear effects ” like the “pitch effect ” which consists of a “transformation of the tone of a processed signal” without however degrading the sound, it is said. Practically, this effect does not modify “in any way” the fundamentals of the sound signal. The method dating from the “analog era” thus appears outdated at a time when “simple inverse functions”, accessible on the Internet, help to make all existing audio effects reversible and, therefore, no longer guarantee the anonymity of witnesses.
A finding confirmed by the Cnil which notes, in an article of January 4, that the technique of “pitch shifting” provides “ extremely weak protection “in the light of the new sound software available on the market. “This technique could be of interest when reverse engineering costs were high and accessible only fo a limited number of people a few decades ago, which is no longer the case with the transition to digital technology and software accessibility”, it concludes.