ACC and police ready to cast data surveillance net

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) is intending to build a national data interception and surveillance system next year.
Written by Marcus Browne, Contributor on

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) is intending to build a national data interception and surveillance system next year.

With the system's request for tender closing today, the NSW Police Force is expected to be watching closely in light of its plans for a similar upgrade next year.

The ACC, the Commonwealth body targeting serious and organized crime, is expecting tenders to be submitted by 2pm today for its telephone and data interception, recording and monitoring system.

The proposed system will be used for criminal intelligence-gathering and investigation purposes, and be capable of intercepting at least 300 separate voice transmissions and 300 separate IP transmissions concurrently.

The successful respondent will also be required to provide a complement of VoIP-activated listening devices.

According to the ACC, the system needs to be capable of intercepting and monitoring transmissions from the entire spectrum of communication sources including fixed line and mobile devices, VoIP, SMS, e-mail, Web mail, chat and a range of other Internet sessions over any network type.

The Commission also expects that the system be fully integrated to accept data gathered by other types of equipment and methods, as well as scalability to adapt to future technologies such as new types of communications networks or protocols.

In addition to intercepting and monitoring capabilities, the winning tenderer will provide a storage component, with the ability to store intercepted data for up to 18 to 24 months at an average figure of 10GB per target, per month.

The NSW Police Force (NSWPF) will be keeping a close eye on the tender selection process for the ACC's new system, as it was announced--in an addendum to the initial request for tender--that the state force would be "teaming" with the ACC "with the view of possibly also acquiring a system from the successful tenderer".

The addendum says that the NSW Police Force's potential interest in a new system is subject to a number of unresolved factors including the force being granted a budget necessary to complete its own upgrade, respondents ability to satisfy the additional requirements of the state force's system, and the NSW Police Force "agreeing that value for money has been determined from the ACC tender process".

The ACC declined to comment on the tender.

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