GSOC: If it wasn’t An Garda Siochana who was responsible, who was? And was it criminal?

So, in the south there’s a big row. [Another one? – Ed] Yes. This time it is over the alleged infiltration of the Garda Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) office’s wifi system. Reports are thin on what actually happened, all the GSOC says on the matter is that there were ‘three technical and electronic anomalies’ when a check was run by a English tech specialist firm last September.

There are suspicions that someone was trying to hack into the wifi system, but when the investigation concluded in December, it was decided that the anomalies “could not be conclusively explained and raised concerns among the investigation team in terms of the integrity of GSOC’s communications security”.

All kinds of interesting rows have broken out since. But the most intriguing question is: who was it who tried to break into the Police Ombudsman’s wifi system?

In terms of the governance structures in place, it looks like they had two options. One, tell the cops and ask them to investigate. They didn’t, apparently because they were worried about the possible involvement in the case. So then option two arises, which would have been to take it to the minister.

They didn’t do that either. None of this reeks of a surfeit of trust between the GSOC and either arm of the state. But with all the speculation over who was obliged to say what to whom, it’s worth coming back to that questions again:

Who was it who tried to break into the Police Ombudsman’s wifi system?

The Gardai for their part posited four questions in response:

1) The nature and extent of the anomalies identified by the UK security consultancy?
2) Do these anomalies amount to a security breach and is a criminal offence suspected?
3) The basis for the suspicion of Garda misconduct?
4) Whether any matters identified now require investigation by An Garda Síochána?

So if it happened, and it was criminal but not the cops, then who exactly was it?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty