Introducing an experimental distortion-tolerant speech encryption scheme for secure voice communication [article]

Piotr Krasnowski and Jerome Lebrun and Bruno Martin
2021 arXiv   pre-print
The current increasing need for privacy-preserving voice communications is leading to new ideas for securing voice transmission. This paper refers to a relatively new concept of sending encrypted speech as pseudo-speech in the audio domain over digital voice communication infrastructures, like 3G cellular network and VoIP. This work presents a novel distortion-tolerant speech encryption scheme for secure voice communications over voice channels that combines the robustness of analog speech
more » ... bling and elevated security offered by digital ciphers like AES-CTR. The system scrambles vocal parameters of a speech signal (loudness, pitch, timbre) using distance-preserving pseudo-random translations and rotations on a hypersphere of parameters. Next, scrambled parameters are encoded to a pseudo-speech signal adapted to transmission over digital voice channels equipped with voice activity detection. Upon reception of this pseudo-speech signal, the legitimate receiver restores distorted copies of the initial vocal parameters. Despite some deciphering errors, an integrated neural-based vocoder based on the LPCNet architecture reconstructs an intelligible speech. The experimental implementation of this speech encryption scheme has been tested by simulations and sending an encrypted signal over FaceTime between two iPhones 6 connected to the same WiFi network. Moreover, speech excerpts restored from encrypted signals were evaluated by a speech quality assessment on a group of about 40 participants. The experiments demonstrated that the proposed scheme produces intelligible speech with a gracefully progressive quality degradation depending on the channel noise. Finally, the preliminary computational analysis suggested that the presented setting may operate on high-end portable devices in nearly real-time.
arXiv:2102.09809v1 fatcat:r66zxv54gjhenaa6ketzyq2rcu