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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > May > May 20

Re: Student Uncovers US Military Secrets - Rudiak

From: David Rudiak <DRudiak.nul>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 15:25:16 -0700
Fwd Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 13:18:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Student Uncovers US Military Secrets - Rudiak


>From: Nick Balaskas <Nikolaos.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 11:05:05 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
>Subject: Student Uncovers US Military Secrets


>I hope that as a result of this article (see below)....

>http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/05/13/student_unlocks_military_secrets/

>The article referred to is about how cryptographers went about
>determining what the blacked-out words in classified documents
>likely were. This was also covered in a New York Times article
>by John Markoff on May 10 (Section C4). The technique was
>revealed at a European security conference in Switzerland last
>week.

The technique is basically this:

1. Determine document font

2. From the font determine likely word length of the blacked
out word

3. Determine all words of that word length (computer search).

4. Use grammatical and semantic contextual constraints to
winnow out nonsense words (i.e., the unknown word should be the
right part of speech and make sense in the context of the
surrounding words.

5. For the few remaining "suspects," use background knowledge
of the situation and a little common sense to select the most
likely word.

The technique was illustrated using a sentence from a classified
presidential briefing memo released to the Sept. 11 commission.
The sentence read, "An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative
told an XXXXXXXX service at the same time that Bin Laden was
planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a
terrorist strike."

First they figured out the blacked out word was 8 letters long,
came up with 1530 possible fits, then reduced this to just 7 by
applying the grammatical and semantic constraints. They then
figured from the context of the sentence that the likely word
was "Egyptian" rather than other possibilities like "Ukranian"
or "Ugandan."

Unconscioiusly everybody does this same sort of thing everyday
to fill in missing words in spoken or written language, whether
they be crossword puzzle solvers or "Wheel of Fortune"
contestants. We use various forms of context, such as our
grammatical knowledge of the language and knowledge of the
situation, to make a decent guess at what can't be explicitly
heard or seen.

The reason I bring this up is because this is the same basic
technique I applied to reading Gen. Ramey's memo. I did letter
counts, maybe figured out a few likely letters in a word, did
computer word searches to see what might fit, then selected a
most likely word by applying grammatical and other contextual
constraints. Thus by doing word searches on the "victims" word
using search letters "vi??i?s", there are only 8 possibilities,
and one can eliminate nonsense hits like "virgins" and "violins"
by applying the situation context (a military message held by
Gen. Ramey while he is trying to sell a weather balloon story
and debunk the Roswell press release of a recovered flying
disk).

In other words, I was applying a technique that the above cited
articles state professional cryptographers use. They recognize
the overwhelming importance of applying proper context (how they
reduce 1530 possibilities down to only one). It's too bad
debunkers of the Ramey memo refuse to acknowledge this, instead
trying to spin context as being prejudice or bias.


David Rudiak




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