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ASIO seeks new hires for telecoms interception teams

Job ads at suggest Australia's main spook house will do lots more hanging on the telephone

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Australia's security intelligence organisation (ASIO) is hiring a clutch of telecoms intelligence staff.

The agency is after a new “Assistant Director Telecommunications Interception” , a pair of ”Telecommunications Investigations Officers (we've linked to the better-paid of the two positions) and also a “Telecommunications Interceptions Specialist”.

The Assistant Director's job says the successful applicant's duties will include:

  • Supervision of technical staff involved in the development of telecommunications interception capabilities;
  • Contribute to policy and process development supporting telecommunications interception;
  • Liaison with telecommunications carriers for the development of lawful interception systems;
  • Liaison with industry for the development of specialist systems;
  • Compliance testing of interception solutions;
  • Trouble-shooting system faults; and
  • Development of in-house lawful interception solutions.

Vulture South can't help but think the wording of those duties imply that new interception tools are contemplated.

Interceptions Specialists will be expected to perform duties including “Development of in-house lawful interception solutions”. Skills needed to score the job include:

  • Previous experience with carrier networks and/or interception systems
  • Project management in an ICT environment
  • Understanding of IP networks (architecture, systems and related protocols)
  • Understanding of the architecture of mobile telephony networks, including SMS, GPRS and LTE
  • Understanding of carrier-level VoIP implementations
  • Exposure to international ICT standards and specifications
  • Knowledge of mark-up languages such as XML and ASN.1
  • Ability to perform and analyse IP captures and perform protocol analysis and network-level problem-solving

The inclusion of LTE seems worth noting: 4G is growing fast in Australia and ASIO will doubtless be keen to monitor traffic on new networks. Intriguingly, “Applicants that have applied for this position in the last 12 months need not reapply,” suggesting this has proved a tough gig to fill.

The job description for the Telecommunications Investigations Officers says the new hires will “join a small team responsible for the collection, processing and dissemination of telecommunications-related data.”

Duties include “Assisting in the preparation and submission of lawful requests to telecommunications providers”, which sounds an awful lot like making warrantless requests for telecommunications metadata. Such requests are controversial because they're made in their hundreds of thousands each year. If Vulture South's guess is correct and ASIO feels it needs more people to make the requests, it could signal even greater volumes. Australia's Greens party has tabled amendments to the Act permitting such requests in the hope of reducing their number.

If you fancy one of these jobs, care to check out the dozen or so other IT roles, or fancy a closer look at ASIO's hiring trends, its vacancies page is here. ®

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