Law enforcement and government agencies understand the need to safeguard classified and sensitive information involving a community and the people therein to keep them secured. The day to day operations of these agencies involves inter-agency and cross-jurisdictional cooperations. Information flows through traditional and modern channels, which opens it to risks of being intercepted or overheard.
What is “Speech Privacy” and How is it Achieved?
Speech Privacy – believe it or not – has long been a defined thing, according to ASTM standards. There are two ways to measure Speech Privacy:
- the Articulation Index (AI), which measures how intelligible speech is
- the Privacy Index (PI), which measures the unintelligibility of speech
As you can see, they’re both essentially saying the same thing using different words.
The Privacy Index defines several levels of Speech Privacy, but with a SCIF, there’s only one level that matters: Confidential Privacy, or a PI score of greater than 95%. This is a relatively difficult score to achieve, and you’ve got just three tools with which to achieve it.
Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs) are designed to make sure that confidential conversations stay that way. You’ve been given the job of making sure your SCIF accomplishes that. Whether temporary or permanent, a SCIF is useless if it fails to cover all potential information leaks in the room both in speech and visual privacy.
You’ve probably read the applicable DCIDs, but as with many government documents, they use many words to describe what is ultimately a fairly simple concept: achieving high levels of speech privacy requires multiple tools.
Government Research Facilities
The lack of privacy opens government and military research facilities to a higher risk of espionage. These research facilities often deal with human subjects or extremely top-secret matter. Privacy breaches and even small-scale espionages can be caused by the lack of something as basic as speech privacy and optimal room acoustics.
Sound can travel through the gaps in doors, windows or the drop ceiling tiles. Eavesdropping tools (bugs) can be installed in telephones, computers and anywhere in the facility. Every sensitive information is at risk if you fail to make the necessary steps to protect them.
The Finest Privacy Solutions
The sound environment is a key element in the physical security of the workplace. Proactive acoustic management is an effective first step in securing your SCIF or research facility.
The VoiceArrest™ Sound Masking Systems increase privacy at targeted decibel levels and adapt to each specific work environment by calculating the noise spectrum that must be used to emit a soft, uniform and non-disruptive masking sound.
As alluded in DCID 6/9, you would install the sound masking system around the perimeter of the SCIF, rendering speech unintelligible to those outside the SCIF, while not affecting the intelligibility of the protected discussions inside the SCIF. This is an important distinction, as many older-style covering products disrupt speech both inside and outside the SCIF.
The NRC-rated EcoPrivacy Acoustic™ Panels help absorb and block sound, further improving speech privacy in the facilities and providing visual privacy in regulated areas.
Confidential Privacy – the sort required by ICD 705 – requires as many tools as you can bring to bear. Don’t leave your SCIF vulnerable – contact us today to make your SCIF more secure!