Red Herring has a story about the Department of Defense funding three teams to create the mother of all decoders to monitor and recognize data sources of all kinds (text, audio, video) in multiple languages and translate the relevant info (with 95-percent accuracy) into a language the U.S. spooks comprehend--I guess that would be English. According to the story IBM, SRI, and BBN are in line to collect some of the $50 million slated for the project. This could result in a major breakthrough--especially if the technology were applied to everyday life, not just spy work-- or just another step on the road to what the funders are calling GALE, Global Autonomous Language Exploitation. I'm not sure if "exploitation" is the best word to use, but it does fit the military focus of the endeavor.
From answers.com exploitation
(DOD, NATO) 1. (DOD only) Taking full advantage of success in military operations, following up initial gains, and making permanent the temporary effects already achieved. 2. Taking full advantage of any information that has come to hand for tactical, operational, or strategic purposes. 3. An offensive operation that usually follows a successful attack and is designed to disorganize the enemy in depth.
Of course, along with the decoder ring, they'll need their trusty decryption device, and I am sure hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are tackling that ongoing problem in the Puzzle Palace...