[LINK] ASIO cyberspy unit

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Thu Mar 10 14:13:10 AEDT 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of John Hilvert
> Sent: Thursday, 10 March 2011 12:12 PM
> To: Frank O'Connor
> Cc: Jan Whitaker; link at anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] ASIO cyberspy unit
> I'd give ASIO a little more slack before judging the wisdom 
> of this move.
> With a package over $100K ASIO is looking for specialists to 
> develop "innovative, leading-edge intelligence collection 
> systems, involving Internet and IP-based technologies and 
> protocols, along with networking systems and database 
> development in our Telecommunications Interception area."

Sorry John,

Government never ever get the best. Their hiring policies just don't
"Grok" the fact that the black hats can make five times that salary in a
few days.

I have hired network engineers and some of them were and are the best of
the best.

In 1997 I was paying 120,000 P.A. for mediocre engineers, 150,000 for
good engineers and 175 for the best of the best.
That was thirteen years ago.

The guys that know this stuff [Read Live and breath] are Diabetic
candidate caffeine addicts that expect quite a bit more than 100K per

If the NBN can afford to pay 480K for internal PR guys, then ASIO can
afford to pay an equal amount to attract the best to defend our banking
and commercial enterprises.
Among the geeks that I know, unless the bidding starts at $300K they
don't even turn up for an interview.

However when the Government get sick of being hacked, then maybe,
quietly they will head hunt some of the best of the best and allow
Australia to finally set-up this island (natural data fortress) as the
cyber proof capital of the world for data storage. 

Now that is as worthwhile as the NBN. 

Anything less than the above is merely a political vote catching attempt
which will incorrectly lull many of us into a false sense of "Big
Brother" is making sure everything is OK.

Which of course is Rubbish!

I have seen several government hires "FEDPOL computer crimes Unit"
depart to start IT security consultancies. I understand the Americans
pay big money to people like that...

Why do Government allow high salaries for the NBN but treat the
organisations that are charged with keeping us safe as the poor cousins.

Here soldier, here's is your 800 MHz netbook and your 9600 connection to
the international gateway at Broadway, now make sure no phreakers get
past you. Oh, by the way, the cafeteria today have put on a special for
you brave chaps defending us against the hordes, it's spam on toast with
a free cup of tea.

> I think that's got a lot of promise, myself. ASIO recently 
> got extended powers under the Telecommunications Interception 
> and Intelligent Services Act see 
> http://www.zdnet.com.au/asio-handed-powers-to-share-spy-data-3
> 39310563.htm

What I do find fascinating is the reluctance of Australians to discuss
ASIO in any way. 
The Zdnet article has only one comment.

Normally on Link anything related to reducing our privacy becomes a hot
topic... Add the magic spell incantation "ASIO" the mix and immediately,
"nolo contendre" becomes the norm... And we are supposedly living in a
free democracy... Speaks volumes doesn't it...

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