Sunday 20 January 2019

GSOC looks to overhaul audio recording gear

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is planning an overhaul of its audio-visual equipment - exactly a year after the start of the 'bugging' scandal.

GSOC is looking for a company to repair and maintain dozens of pieces of equipment such as audio recorders, microphones and audio transcription machines.


In a public tender, GSOC state that the commission is seeking "preventative maintenance" for its audio-visual systems.

The tender comes with one strict rule, however, and that is that the commission's network can never be accessed from outside of the building.

"Remote access to GSOC systems is not available under any circumstances. GSOC is manned by 24-hour security and the site is accessible at any time," reads the tender.

Last year the garda watchdog found itself at the centre of a 'bugging' controversy.

Between September 23 and 27 last, a security sweep to check for any eavesdropping or spying devices was carried out at the offices by a specialist security firm, Verrimus, from the UK.

Three technical and electronic "anomalies" raised concerns about the integrity of the telecommunications system.

By December 2013, the investigation was completed and a decision was taken to improve the security of the office.


Then in February of this year a Sunday newspaper broke the story of the "anomalies" in the office's security.

Another investigation then took place to see if a highly-confidential document about the "anomalies", that only seven people had access to, had been leaked to a journalist.

The report found that the journalist "did not have possession" of the internal report.


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