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Verrimus "reassured" by judge's recommendations in GSOC 'bugging' report:

The company said that it was never part of its remit to uncover the source of any possible surveillance threat.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

VERRIMUS LTD, THE company whose sweep of the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission’s offices led to a surveillance controversy, has responded to the Cooke Report.

The security specialist was tasked last year to conduct surveys to identify all possible technical surveillance vulnerabilities to the security of critical information within the GSOC offices.

It said today that “it was never part of Verrimus’ remit to investigate and uncover the source of any possible surveillance threat”.

The Cooke Report found no evidence to support any claims of surveillance by members of the force.

  • Read the Cooke Report in full here.

Verrimus said that it carried out full and structured Technical Surveillance Counter Measures operations (TSCM – a counter espionage function) at the offices.

In relation to the TCSM operations, reports and evidence delivered by Verrimus, its professional competence, standards and methodology were independently reviewed and verified by a specialised TSCM company.

“This intelligent and accurate peer review was welcomed by Verrimus and we are pleased to see it referred to in the Cooke Report,” it said.

Vulnerabilities

According to Verrimus, the three vulnerabilities it identified during the TSCM operations at the offices “are indicative of methods that can be used by person(s) outside an organisation to gather critical information from within”.

Verrimus said it agrees with the Cooke Report comment that in the “world of covert surveillance and counter surveillance techniques, it is ultimately extremely difficult to determine with complete certainty whether unexplained anomalies of the kinds identified in this instance were or were not attributable to unlawful intrusion”.

Investigations to prove or disprove whether such vulnerabilities are associated with a criminal act can only effectively be carried out by properly qualified and experienced counter intelligence investigators in a timely response to presented evidence.

Verrimus said it is reassured by the recommendations, which mirror those it provided after its operations, that GSOC should act to improve existing security arrangements, act to resolve the vulnerabilities identified and conduct regular counter surveillance examinations of its offices.

Read: Cooke Report: There is no evidence that GSOC was bugged by gardaí>

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