Thinking of joining ASIO...

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ZLVT
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Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby ZLVT » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:13 pm UTC

For those of you who don't know, I seem to have a thing for langauges and ASIO is the australian spy service.

Anyway, Turns out, ASIO has a position called Intelligence Annalyst (IA) where (I assume) one would be given large amounts of data to analyse. However, they also work on languages, presumably to translate foreign data for the annalysts to annalyse.
Anywho, would it be worth it to look into this further? Does anyone know how spy organisations work etc.

My imagination is that they would train me to learn the langauges of countries they're interested in (Indonesia, China, Japan, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, N. Korea etc) then give me a desk and make me translate random bits of intelligence. This accurate at all?
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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby DaMullet » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:32 pm UTC

I imagine they'd want you trained in at least a few of those languages to begin with- with which to begin.
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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby Burkitt » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:42 pm UTC

The UK's MI5 asks potential applicants not to tell anyone other than close family that they are considering joining the security service. They probably don't look too highly on you announcing it on a public internet forum.
The job titles mentioned in adverts are probably fairly euphemistic, and what you actually do may be little relation to them.

Edit: The ASIO website you linked to says
We do suggest it is in your own interests to be discreet and to limit the number of people who are aware of your ASIO application.

So, talking about in on xkcd=not good

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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby ZLVT » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:29 pm UTC

They also require a uni degree which is some 3yrs away, so it's not likely to happen in a timespan where this chat matters.
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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby Rat » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:36 pm UTC

ZLVT wrote:They also require a uni degree which is some 3yrs away, so it's not likely to happen in a timespan where this chat matters.


i'll remember.

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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby ZLVT » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:47 pm UTC

No...you won't...besides, It may not be ASIO....I have duel citizenship...
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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby ArchangelShrike » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:00 pm UTC

Intelligence Analyst is a broad term, I used to go to a school that trained people specifically for those roles in the US. Then I decided I didn't want to "join the Dark Side" and left quite early, but in addition to learning languages you'd probably do overt intel - read daily newspapers, events, etc so you have a grounding in what's going on at the time. Also you'd need to know the history for an area - most likely you'd be dedicated in one region of the world and simply learn everything you can about it, then try to put it in perspective for your superiors so they know what's going on. Those that are deployed to other areas of the world are the ones sent consistently to language school, if you want to work in a embassy you'd probably pick up lots of languages.

Not really to nitpick, but you would also need excellent writing skills as after you analyze you would be responsible for writing up the reports that get passed on. Your best choices on that would some scientific formal report writing class or a higher level English class dedicated for that, I'm not sure what.

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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby ZLVT » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:42 pm UTC

Fortunately I am a philosophy major az well, and can write well (it is however, 5:30am) so that's ok...Embassy...hmm, Diplomatic Corps souinds good too, thanks for the idea...
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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby ArchangelShrike » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:59 pm UTC

ZLVT wrote:Embassy...hmm, Diplomatic Corps souinds good too, thanks for the idea...


Uhhh, in American embassies it's generally assumed that everyone that works there is a spy. That stuff about CIA posting agents at embassies? True. Most of them are overt agents (read newspapers, watch traffic, etc.) but that's possibly where you could go if you don't want to be stuck at a desk job of your respective agency. Or as you said, State/Diplomatic Corps. But if it's really a career you want and you possibly want to work for a firm later, you'll need the clearances you get from working for the gov't, not to mention the contacts you'll make in there.

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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby ZLVT » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:12 pm UTC

It's nto so much the job on the ideological level (though traveling sounds nice and all, DC people often have to pull up roots...not cool) I just really want well, interesting things to do sure, but I'm looking for things in the learn languages/cultures dept. People who will pay me to sit on my ass and learn languages so that I can translate for them. Spies just had the added bonus of traveling and seeing things most people never would. (<_< and the babe factor of course...think of the hot enemy spies seducing me for information mmmm)

I assumed that the Head of Security in an embassy is a spy and the rest are rank and file DC.
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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby ArchangelShrike » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:38 pm UTC

Either side you might be focused on one area/state, but if you don't like it there are always people looking for translators. The overt intel stuff is basically the really mundane stuff, except that in a embassy you'd be on the ground to get a heartbeat of how things are when you analyze data - although probably they keep their analysts at home for the first couple of years, or they might have a training program after you get your degree where they rotate you through the different jobs/hats you could possibly wear. If you only want to purely translate things, not analyze, DC is probably better - you could get attached to a place and simply stay there because you know the language, be the official translator for the state. All depends on you, really.

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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby steewi » Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:42 am UTC

I've heard ASIO, DSD, etc. are crying out for people with languages (especially the big ones: Arabic, Korean, Pashto/Farsi, Indonesian and probably Urdu) and linguistics (language processing, computational stuff, forensic voice identification, language analysis, etc.), preferably with an IT base.
The security clearance is a bugger - it takes at least 6 months - but from the rumours I've heard it's good pay, but long, hard, work. My suggestion is to keep up your IT skills and pick up a course or two in linguistics - LING1/2001, LING1/2010 and LING1/2002 are good ones. If you apply for the graduate program in Defense as well as keeping an eye out for the ASIO/DSD/DIO type ads in the job listings (yes, they list them...) they'll probably notice you. I know that they do approach people from the graduate programs. The AFP also have a branch that has secret-work branches - I know someone who works for them, but they can't say what they do. If you want diplomatic corps stuff, DFAT is the one to apply for.

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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby Socal Swimmer » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:44 am UTC

Even if YOU don't remember it, google will. And they will most likely ask for any online usernames with which to search for this information ...
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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby ZLVT » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:15 am UTC

Now I remember why I don't like spies


steewi wrote:I've heard ASIO, DSD, etc. are crying out for people with languages (especially the big ones: Arabic, Korean, Pashto/Farsi, Indonesian and probably Urdu) and linguistics (language processing, computational stuff, forensic voice identification, language analysis, etc.), preferably with an IT base.
The security clearance is a bugger - it takes at least 6 months - but from the rumours I've heard it's good pay, but long, hard, work. My suggestion is to keep up your IT skills and pick up a course or two in linguistics - LING1/2001, LING1/2010 and LING1/2002 are good ones. If you apply for the graduate program in Defense as well as keeping an eye out for the ASIO/DSD/DIO type ads in the job listings (yes, they list them...) they'll probably notice you. I know that they do approach people from the graduate programs. The AFP also have a branch that has secret-work branches - I know someone who works for them, but they can't say what they do. If you want diplomatic corps stuff, DFAT is the one to apply for.


Can they be approached for information seeking purposes? I wouldn't want to take such a career path seriosuly only to later find out that they don't do what I expected.
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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby steewi » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:37 am UTC

ZLVT wrote:Can they be approached for information seeking purposes? I wouldn't want to take such a career path seriosuly only to later find out that they don't do what I expected.


Apparently, yes - https://careers.asio.gov.au/JobApplication/public/Default.aspx?page=Jobs

They list a general inquiries phone number, too. I expect they're equipped for career enquiries - it's probably the question they consider to be not particularly off-beat.

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Re: Thinking of joining ASIO...

Postby Yuffie » Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:18 am UTC

I believe that there was a thread here about joining the FBI/CIA here awhile ago...might be some advice there.
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