Feeds

Australian spooks want mobile dev to build ... something

ASIO changes IT hiring policy to bring more specialists aboard

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) seems set to equip Australian spooks with mobile apps.

The Reg is happy to make that assertion on the back of this job ad seeking a “Mobile Applications Developer” with “Development experience with iOS and/or Android (desirable).”

We asked ASIO why it needs a mobile developer and got the non-committal response one would expect from an intelligence agency's press spokesthing.

But the organisation's response did yield two interesting nuggetoids of information.

One is that “ASIO has changed its recruitment strategy to advertise roles individually with a view to attracting a more specialised workforce (some ICT roles in ASIO were previously undertaken by what we called ‘Technical Generalists’ who were employed for their range of technical skills)”.

Which goes some way to explaining why a mobile dev is needed while also raising the question of just how ASIO did its job with a recruitment policy that made it hard to find those with specialist skills.

On the matter of mobile development, the response said “ASIO is seeking candidates who have a keen interest in IT security and experience developing for iOS and Android platforms, however ASIO has no plans to develop apps for the general public.”

Are there plans for in-house apps? We're not sure and ASIO isn't saying. But the answer provided certainly leaves the door open for the possibility of apps only ASIO can access.

Why would ASIO staff need mobile apps? Your guess is as good as ours, dear readers, although we imagine any intelligence agency that relies on the email clients shipped with mobile devices is not worthy of the name. We've also heard, in the past, of secure over-the-top VoIP on smartphones, albeit in the hands of the bad guys, but it sounds like a useful way for spooks to chat.

Perhaps modern surveillance can be better achieved with a smartphone that records all it sees but looks entirely workaday in the hands of its intelligence officer wielder?

Here's another possibility: the dev will be asked to peer under the hood of mobile apps that ASIO finds interesting.

Feel free to let us know what you think an intelligence agency's apps might usefully do in the comments below. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.