Bonn and the Putsch

JAKARTA/BONN/PULLACH (Own report) – Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been heavily involved in the 1965 murderous putsch in Indonesia – the guest nation of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. This was confirmed in secret documents from the Bundestag, the German Parliament. According to BND President at the time, Gerhard Wessel’s manuscript for a talk he delivered to a session of the Bundestag’s “Confidential Committee” in June 1968, the BND did more than merely support the Indonesian military in their blood-soaked “liquidation of the CPI” (Communist Party of Indonesia) – resulting in the murder of hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions – with advisors, equipment and finances. Suharto, who subsequently took power, had even attributed a “large part … of the success” of the operation to the BND. Up to now, mainly the US-American assistance to the putsch has been known. The putsch, and the more than 30 year-long dictatorship that followed – which also had been reliably promoted by West Germany – are important themes being presented by Indonesian writers at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. To this day, the German government has refused to allow an investigation of the BND’s support for the putsch and the Indonesian military’s excessive brutality.

Hundreds of Thousands Dead

The Indonesian putsch, bringing Maj. Gen. Haji Mohamed Suharto to power in Jakarta, began in October 1965 as a reaction to an attempted coup d’état, killing several officers on September 30. Suharto’s dictatorial reign lasted until 1998. The attempted coup was falsely attributed to the Communist Party of Indonesia (CPI). Subsequently, the military launched excessively brutal operations against all genuine and suspected members and sympathizers of the communist party. Hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions, were murdered; millions were imprisoned. The exact number is still unknown. The crimes committed at the time by the military have never really been brought to light.

50 to 100 Victims Each Night

One of the things never brought to light is what support western powers had given to the Suharto putsch. US complicity, having had the best relations to the Indonesian armed forces, has, to some extent, already been exposed. According to experts, for example, by 1965, around 4,000 Indonesian officers had been trained in US military installations as well as high-ranking officers having been trained in counter-insurgency on the basis of US field manuals at Indonesia’s elite military institutes.[1] December 2, 1965, the US ambassador gave his consent to providing financial support to the “Kap-Gestapu” movement, a movement – as he put it – “inspired by the army, even though comprised of civilian action groups,” which “shouldered the task of the ongoing repressive measures against Indonesia’s Communist Party.”[2] The ambassador must have known what this would mean. November 13, his employees had passed on information from the Indonesian police indicating, “between 50 and 100 members of the CPI in Eastern and Central Java were being killed each night.” April 15, the embassy had admitted, “it did not know if the actual number” of murdered CPI activists “was not closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000.” In spite of the mass murder, the US ambassador in Jakarta reported back to Washington (August 10, 1966) that the authorities in Jakarta had been provided a list of the leading CPI members.[3]
“Reliable Friend of Germany”
Agencies of the West German government had also been involved in the putsch. The BND had supported “Indonesia’s military intelligence service’s 1965 defeat of a left-wing putsch in Jakarta, with submachine guns, shortwave radios and money (with a total value of 300,000 DM),” reported “Der Spiegel” in March 1971.[4] Twelve weeks later, the magazine added that “a commando of BND men” had “trained military intelligence service operatives in Indonesia” and “relieved their CIA colleagues, who were under the heavy pressure of anti-American propaganda.”[5] By “supplying Soviet rifles and Finnish ammunition, the BND instructors” were even actually intervening in that “civil war.” If one can believe the BND’s founder, Reinhard Gehlen, Bonn, at the time, had the best contacts to leading military officers. In his “Memoirs,” published in 1971, Gehlen wrote, “two of Germany’s reliable friends” were among the Indonesian officers, murdered September 30, including “the longtime and highly revered military attaché in Bonn, Brig. Gen. Pandjaitan.” During the putsch, the BND was “in the fortunate position of being able to provide the West German government with timely and detailed reports – from excellent sources – … on the progress of those days, which had been so crucial for Indonesia.”[6]

An Excellent Resident

Other indications have emerged from the research published by the expert of intelligence services, Erich Schmidt-Eenboom and the political scientist, Matthias Ritzi. Their findings confirmed that there was close coordination between the BND and CIA. In April 1961, BND headquarters in Pullach had informed the US Central Intelligence Agency that it had “an excellent Chief of Station” in Jakarta, writes Schmidt-Eenboom. The CIA thought the BND was referring to Rudolf Oebsger-Röder, a former colonel of the SS working in the Reich Security Central Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt) in Nazi Germany, who joined West Germany’s Organization Gehlen in 1948 and was later on post in Indonesia, as a correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.[7] The BND had maintained Oebsger-Röder on its staff until the mid-’60s. In mid-January 1964, a high-ranking CIA representative paid Gehlen a visit and asked him how the West Germans were handling the developments in Indonesia, explain Schmidt-Eenboom and Ritzi. Gehlen told him that he is keeping Bonn up-to-date, but does not yet know how the chancellery intends to proceed.

“A Large Part BND”

The manuscript for a talk BND President Gerhard Wessel presented June 21 1968 to the Bundestag’s Confidential Committee provides more details. In the form of notes, Wessel gave “details of BND activities” in support of its Indonesian partner service, explained Schmidt-Eenboom and Ritzi. Explicitly the manuscript explains that “the close ties already in place to the Indonesian strategic ND (intelligence service) by October 1965, had facilitated support (advisors, equipment, money) to Indonesia’s ND and its special military organs during the elimination of the CPI (and Sukarno’s disempowerment – control and support of demonstrations).”[8] The “CPI’s elimination” included the assassination of hundreds of thousands of genuine and suspected members and sympathizers of the Indonesian CP. According to the manuscript, BND President Wessel continued his speech to the Confidential Committee, “in the opinion of Indonesian politicians and military officers ((Suharto, Nasution, Sultan) a large part thanks to the BND.”
Praise from Pullach
Reflecting back, BND founder Gehlen was praising these crimes almost effusively. “The significance of the Indonesian army’s success, which … pursued the elimination of the entire Communist Party with all consequences and severity, cannot – in my opinion – be appraised highly enough,” Gehlen wrote in his 1971 “Memoirs.”[9]

Berlin’s Priorities

The German government is still refusing to shed light on Germany’s participation in these crimes. In a parliamentary interpellation, the government was asked if it has knowledge of “foreign governments, intelligence services or other organizations’ direct or indirect support of the massacres.” In Mai 2014, it responded, “after a thorough assessment, the government concludes that it cannot give an open answer.” It is “imperative” to keep the “requested information” secret. The “protection of sources” is a “principle of primary importance to the work of intelligence services.”[10] For the German government, the Indonesian civil society’s need to have information on foreign support for the immense mass murder is of less importance than its “protection of sources.”

[1] Rainer Werning: Putsch nach “Pütschchen”. junge Welt 01.10.2015.
[2], [3] Rainer Werning: Der Archipel Suharto. In: Konflikte auf Dauer? Osnabrücker Jahrbuch Frieden und Wissenschaft, herausgegeben vom Oberbürgermeister der Stadt Osnabrück und dem Präsidenten der Universität Osnabrück. Osnabrück 2008, S. 183-199.
[4] Hermann Zolling, Heinz Höhne: Pullach intern. Der Spiegel 11/1971.
[5] Hermann Zolling, Heinz Höhne: Pullach intern. Der Spiegel 23/1971.
[6] Reinhard Gehlen: Der Dienst. Erinnerungen 1942-1971. Mainz/Wiesbaden 1971.
[7], [8] Matthias Ritzi, Erich Schmidt-Eenboom: Im Schatten des Dritten Reiches. Der BND und sein Agent Richard Christmann. Berlin 2011. See Review: Im Schatten des Dritten Reiches.
[9] Reinhard Gehlen: Der Dienst. Erinnerungen 1942-1971. Mainz/Wiesbaden 1971.
[10] Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Andrej Hunko, Jan van Aken, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE. Deutscher Bundestag Drucksache 18/1554, 27.05.2014.

Bonn and the Putsch

Find this story at 15 October 2015
© Informationen zur Deutschen Außenpolitik

Singapore, South Korea revealed as Five Eyes spying partners

Singapore and South Korea are playing key roles helping the United States and Australia tap undersea telecommunications links across Asia, according to top secret documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. New details have also been revealed about the involvement of Australia and New Zealand in the interception of global satellite communications.

A top secret United States National Security Agency map shows that the US and its “Five Eyes” intelligence partners tap high speed fibre optic cables at 20 locations worldwide. The interception operation involves cooperation with local governments and telecommunications companies or else through “covert, clandestine” operations.

The undersea cable interception operations are part of a global web that in the words of another leaked NSA planning document enables the “Five Eyes” partners – the US, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – to trace “anyone, anywhere, anytime” in what is described as “the golden age” signals intelligence.

The NSA map, published by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad overnight, shows that the United States maintains a stranglehold on trans-Pacific communications channels with interception facilities on the West coast of the United States and at Hawaii and Guam, tapping all cable traffic across the Pacific Ocean as well as links between Australia and Japan.

The map confirms that Singapore, one of the world’s most significant telecommunications hubs, is a key “third party” working with the “Five Eyes” intelligence partners.

In August Fairfax Media reported that Australia’s electronic espionage agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, is in a partnership with Singaporean intelligence to tap the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable that runs from Japan, via Singapore, Djibouti, Suez and the Straits of Gibraltar to Northern Germany.

Australian intelligence sources told Fairfax that the highly secretive Security and Intelligence Division of Singapore’s Ministry of Defence co-operates with DSD in accessing and sharing communications carried by the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable as well as the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable that runs from Singapore to the south of France.

Access to this major international telecommunications channel, facilitated by Singapore’s government-owned operator SingTel, has been a key element in an expansion of Australian-Singaporean intelligence and defence ties over the past 15 years.

Majority owned by Temask Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore Government, SingTel has close relations with Singapore’s intelligence agencies. The Singapore Government is represented on the company’s board by the head of Singapore’s civil service, Peter Ong, who was previously responsible for national security and intelligence co-ordination in the Singapore Prime Minister’s office.

Australian intelligence expert, Australian National University Professor Des Ball has described Singapore’s signal’s intelligence capability as “probably the most advanced” in South East Asia, having first been developed in cooperation with Australia in the mid-1970s and subsequently leveraging Singapore’s position as a regional telecommunications hub.

Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and Singaporean intelligence collaboration since the 1970s. Much of Indonesia’s telecommunications and Internet traffic is routed through Singapore.

The leaked NSA map also shows South Korea is another key interception point with cable landings at Pusan providing access to the external communications of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service has long been a close collaborator with the US Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA, as well as the Australian intelligence agencies. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation recently engaged in legal action in an unsuccessful effort to prevent publication of details of South Korean espionage in Australia. ASIO Director-General David Irvine told the Federal Court that Australian and South Korean intelligence agencies had been cooperating for “over 30 years” and that any public disclose of NIS activities would be “detrimental” to Australia’s national security.

The NSA map and other documents leaked by Mr Snowden and published by the Brazilian O Globo newspaper also reveal new detail on the integration of Australian and New Zealand signals intelligence facilities in the interception of satellite communications traffic by the “Five Eyes” partners.

For the first time it is revealed that the DSD satellite interception facility at Kojarena near Geraldton in Western Australia is codenamed “STELLAR”. The New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau facility at Waihopai on New Zealand’s South Island is codenamed “IRONSAND”. The codename for DSD’s facility at Shoal Bay near Darwin is not identified. However all three facilities are listed by the NSA as “primary FORNSAT (foreign satellite communications) collection operations”.

Coverage of satellite communications across Asia and the Middle East is also supported by NSA facilities at the United States Air Force base at Misawa in Japan, US diplomatic premises in Thailand and India, and British Government Communications Headquarters facilities in Oman, Nairobi in Kenya and at the British military base in Cyprus.

The leaked NSA map also shows that undersea cables are accessed by the NSA and the British GCHQ through military facilities in Djibouti and Oman, thereby ensuring maximum coverage of Middle East and South Asian communications.

November 25, 2013
Philip Dorling

Find this story at 25 November 2013

Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media

New Snowden leaks reveal US, Australia’s Asian allies

Singapore and South Korea are playing key roles helping the United States and Australia tap undersea telecommunications links across Asia, according to top secret documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. New details have also been revealed about the involvement of Australia and New Zealand in the interception of global satellite communications.

A top secret United States National Security Agency map shows that the US and its “Five Eyes” intelligence partners tap high speed fibre optic cables at 20 locations worldwide. The interception operation involves cooperation with local governments and telecommunications companies or else through “covert, clandestine” operations.

The undersea cable interception operations are part of a global web that in the words of another leaked NSA planning document enables the “Five Eyes” partners – the US, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – to trace “anyone, anywhere, anytime” in what is described as “the golden age” signals intelligence.

The NSA map, published by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad overnight, shows that the United States maintains a stranglehold on trans-Pacific communications channels with interception facilities on the West coast of the United States and at Hawaii and Guam, tapping all cable traffic across the Pacific Ocean as well as links between Australia and Japan.

The map confirms that Singapore, one of the world’s most significant telecommunications hubs, is a key “third party” working with the “Five Eyes” intelligence partners.

In August Fairfax Media reported that Australia’s electronic espionage agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, is in a partnership with Singaporean intelligence to tap the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable that runs from Japan, via Singapore, Djibouti, Suez and the Straits of Gibraltar to Northern Germany.

Australian intelligence sources told Fairfax that the highly secretive Security and Intelligence Division of Singapore’s Ministry of Defence co-operates with DSD in accessing and sharing communications carried by the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable as well as the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable that runs from Singapore to the south of France.

Access to this major international telecommunications channel, facilitated by Singapore’s government-owned operator SingTel, has been a key element in an expansion of Australian-Singaporean intelligence and defence ties over the past 15 years.

Majority owned by Temask Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore Government, SingTel has close relations with Singapore’s intelligence agencies. The Singapore Government is represented on the company’s board by the head of Singapore’s civil service, Peter Ong, who was previously responsible for national security and intelligence co-ordination in the Singapore Prime Minister’s office.

Australian intelligence expert, Australian National University Professor Des Ball has described Singapore’s signal’s intelligence capability as “probably the most advanced” in South East Asia, having first been developed in cooperation with Australia in the mid-1970s and subsequently leveraging Singapore’s position as a regional telecommunications hub.

Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and Singaporean intelligence collaboration since the 1970s. Much of Indonesia’s telecommunications and Internet traffic is routed through Singapore.

The leaked NSA map also shows South Korea is another key interception point with cable landings at Pusan providing access to the external communications of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service has long been a close collaborator with the US Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA, as well as the Australian intelligence agencies. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation recently engaged in legal action in an unsuccessful effort to prevent publication of details of South Korean espionage in Australia. ASIO Director-General David Irvine told the Federal Court that Australian and South Korean intelligence agencies had been cooperating for “over 30 years” and that any public disclose of NIS activities would be “detrimental” to Australia’s national security.

The NSA map and other documents leaked by Mr Snowden and published by the Brazilian O Globo newspaper also reveal new detail on the integration of Australian and New Zealand signals intelligence facilities in the interception of satellite communications traffic by the “Five Eyes” partners.

For the first time it is revealed that the DSD satellite interception facility at Kojarena near Geraldton in Western Australia is codenamed “STELLAR”. The New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau facility at Waihopai on New Zealand’s South Island is codenamed “IRONSAND”. The codename for DSD’s facility at Shoal Bay near Darwin is not identified. However all three facilities are listed by the NSA as “primary FORNSAT (foreign satellite communications) collection operations”.

Coverage of satellite communications across Asia and the Middle East is also supported by NSA facilities at the United States Air Force base at Misawa in Japan, US diplomatic premises in Thailand and India, and British Government Communications Headquarters facilities in Oman, Nairobi in Kenya and at the British military base in Cyprus.

The leaked NSA map also shows that undersea cables are accessed by the NSA and the British GCHQ through military facilities in Djibouti and Oman, thereby ensuring maximum coverage of Middle East and South Asian communications.

November 24, 2013
Philip Dorling

Find this story at 24 November 2013

Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media

How we spied on the Indonesians and how expats are targeted overseas

THEIR clandestine activities may be directly in the spotlight, but Australian spies have for decades been listening in on our neighbours.

Modern spooks have two main methods of tapping the mobile phones of people of interest in cities such as Jakarta. The first option is to install a physical bugging device in the actual handset, to forward calls to a third number – but this requires access to the handset.

For high-security targets, Australian agents use electronic scanners and very powerful computers to monitor phone numbers of interest via microwave towers (small metal towers that look like venetian blinds) located on top of buildings across Jakarta and all modern cities.

The latter was employed to tap the phones of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and key ministers.

Getting hold of a handset is a tricky business so the preferred method for the spooks employed by the Australian Signals Directorate (formerly Defence Signals Directorate) is to monitor microwave phone towers located on top of most buildings in Jakarta and indeed any other major city.

The material, known at this point as “first echelon”, is captured by computers located in secure rooms at the Australian Embassy where information is filtered before it is forwarded by secure means to super computers located at ASD headquarters. They are located inside the maximum security building ‘M’, protected by high voltage electric fences, at Defence’s Russell Office complex in Canberra. Here it is processed and analysed as “second echelon” product.

In less busy locations, or where the target phone number is known, an off-the-shelf scanner can be programmed to intercept mobile phone calls.

In cities such as Jakarta enterprising business people now offer a mobile bugging service where for a fee of between $300 and $1000 they will arrange to “borrow” a mobile phone, insert a bugging device and then return it to a relieved owner. Whenever the phone rings or is used to access a network the call is diverted to another handset or recording device.

Government staff understand that if their phone goes missing and then turns up they should dispose of it and get a new one.

But for the average citizen, say a teacher at an English speaking school in Jakarta whose phone was bugged by an angry ex-girlfriend, phone tapping is a serious matter. And it is more common than many expatriates might think.

There is a thriving business in phone tapping for private or industrial or state espionage reasons in cities such as Jakarta, Singapore and Bangkok. Industrial espionage is widespread in cities around the world including Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

Compared to the operations of ASD and its powerful scanners, super computers and army of analysts these operations are small beer.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was quick to point out in the wake of the phone tapping scandal that every country spied and he was right.

However Indonesia has nowhere near the capacity for espionage that Australia and our close “five eyes” allies – the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand – posses.

After the 2002 Bali bombings the DSD, Australian Federal Police and Telstra went to Indonesia and showed Indonesian intelligence agencies how to tap into the networks of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI).

Unlike Australia much of Indonesia’s electronic surveillance capacity is directed at internal problems such as the insurgencies in Aceh and West Papua.

According to one of Australia’s leading experts on electronic spying, Professor Des Ball from the Australian National University, there is really no point in conducting such intercept operations unless a country has the whole picture. That is satellite communications, cable communications and radio communications.

“Microwave mobile phone calls are very hit and miss,” he said.

Australia owns the big picture thanks to an expensive and extensive network of listening posts in Jakarta, Bangkok and Port Moresby and powerful satellite ground stations at HMAS Harman in Canberra, Shoal Bay near Darwin, Morundah near Wagga in NSW, Cabarlah near Toowoomba in Qld and Geraldton in WA.

This interception network is monitoring communications from Singapore to the Pacific Islands including Indonesia’s Palapa satellite.

Professor Ball said there had been huge growth in Australia’s eavesdropping capacity in recent years. For example the number of dishes at Shoal Bay has gone from six to 15 and Geraldton has more than doubled its capacity including six American dishes for the exclusive use of the National Security Agency (NSA) whose lax security allowed Edward Snowden to abscond with top-secret information that is now being leaked.

Unfortunately Australian taxpayers have no way of knowing how much is spent on these facilities or even how many staff are employed by the top-secret ASD. The numbers used to appear in the Defence annual report, but not anymore.

Professor Ball said successive governments had allowed the electronic spooks to have a virtual free rein.

“When briefings about the phone intercepts from SBY and his wife came in the government should have ordered the tapping to stop,” Professor Ball said.

“It is important to have the capacity but you only use it when there is a conflict. Put it in, test it and keep it up to date, but don’t use it because unless you have to because it will come out.”

Professor Ball also slammed Mr Abbott for saying that other countries (Indonesia) were doing exactly what Australia did, because they weren’t and they can’t.

“They are not doing what we are doing and Abbott should have apologised or done what Bob Hawke did with Papua New Guinea in 1983.”

Prime Minister Hawke went to Port Moresby after it was revealed that Australia spied on politicians there, but before he left he ordered the spooks switch to all monitoring equipment off for 48 hours. He was then able to say that Australia wasn’t doing it although as journalist Laurie Oakes pointed out he had to be “very careful with his tenses”.

Tapping a friendly foreign leader’s phone is fraught enough. Recording the fact on clear power point slides and handing them to another country is just plain dumb.

IAN MCPHEDRAN NATIONAL DEFENCE WRITER
NEWS LIMITED NETWORK
NOVEMBER 21, 2013 6:34PM

Find this story at 21 November 2013

News Ltd 2013 Copyright

Spying rocks Indonesia-Australia relations

Indonesia has officially downgraded the relationship, after Australia refused to apologise for espionage.

A spy scandal involving an Australian attempt to tap the phone of Indonesia’s president has jeopardised crucial people smuggling and counter-terrorism co-operation between the two countries, officials have said.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has temporarily suspended co-coordinated military operations with Australia, including those which target people-smuggling, after significant public outcry in Indonesia over the reports.

“I find it personally hard to comprehend why the tapping was done. We are not in a cold war era,” President Yudhoyono said.
Find out more with our exclusive interactive feature

“I know Indonesians are upset and angry over what Australia has done to Indonesia. Our reactions will determine the future of the relationship and friendship between Indonesia and Australia – which actually have been going well.”

Angry crowds mobbed Australia’s embassy in Jakarta, burning Australian and American flags on Thursday. Indonesia has officially downgraded its relationship with Australia and recalled its ambassador from Canberra.

‘Reasonable’ surveillance

The country’s prime minister, Tony Abbott, has refused to apologise for what he calls “reasonable” surveillance, but promised to respond to the president’s request for an explanation “swiftly and courteously”.

“I want to express … my deep and sincere regret about the embarrassment to the president and to Indonesia that’s been caused by recent media reporting,” Abbott told parliament.

“As always, I am absolutely committed to building the closest possible relationship with Indonesia because that is overwhelmingly in the interests of both our countries.”
I don’t believe Australia should be expected to apologise for reasonable intelligence-gathering activities

Tony Abbott, Australian Prime Minister

The situation erupted after documents leaked by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, showed Australia’s Defence Signal’s Directorate recorded personal communications of President Yudhoyono, his wife, Ani Yudhoyono, and senior officials in 2009.

The surveillance is understood to be part of a longstanding spying arrangement with the UK, USA, Canada and New Zealand, known as the “five eyes” intelligence partners.

“I don’t believe Australia should be expected to apologise for reasonable intelligence-gathering activities,” Abbott told Australia’s parliament on Tuesday.

“Importantly, in Australia’s case, we use all our resources including information to help our friends and allies, not to harm them,” Abbott said.

The document leaked by Snowden was dated November 2009 and was published jointly by Guardian Australia and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation state television network.

It details the attempted interception of various targets’ mobile phones and lists their specific phone models with slides marked “top secret” and the Australian Signals Directorate’s slogan: “Reveal their secrets, protect our own.”

This leak came after previous documents released by Snowden revealed Australian embassies had participated in
widespread US surveillance across Asia, including in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.

Strained relations

The combined revelations have strained a bilateral relationship already under pressure over the Abbott government’s hardline asylum seeker policy to “turn back” boats coming to Australia, a controversial and highly emotive issue in the country.

Professor Greg Fealy is an Indonesian politics specialist at the Australian National University. He told Al Jazeera the situation was becoming increasingly serious.

“Every new day brings new sanctions from the Indonesian side and so far the Abbott government hasn’t responded well to it,” Fealy said.

He believes relations between the two countries have not been this strained since the East Timor crisis in 1999, when Australia’s military went into East Timor during its transition from an Indonesian territory to independence.

“It has the potential to get worse, with the Indonesians withdrawing further cooperation [with Australia] in many fields,” Fealy said.

“If there is a sufficiently wide range of retaliation then this could possibly be worse than the crisis of 15 years ago.”

Prime Minister Abbott has been encouraged to reassure President Yudhoyono that no further surveillance is taking place – similar to the conversation between US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel after
revelations her phone was also tapped.

John McCarthy, a former Australian ambassador to Indonesia, said Abbott must contact Yudhoyono to make amends.

“There is nothing, frankly, to prevent the prime minister saying to the president that it’s not happening and it’s not going to happen in the future. That’s what Obama did with Angela Merkel and I don’t see a problem with that,”
McCarthy said.

“It can’t be allowed just to fester. If it festers it will get worse and it will be much harder to deal with, particularly as the politics get hotter in Indonesia.”

US blame

Australian officials would also be expressing their frustration with the United States over this situation, according to Michael Wesley, professor of national security at the Australian National University.

“There are a number of reasons Australian officials can legitimately be very irritated with the Americans. We’re in this mess because of an American security lapse,” Wesley told Al Jazeera.

“I’m actually gobsmacked at both Snowden and Bradley Manning, at their ability to get highly classified documents and download them. It would be absolutely impossible for people of their level of access to do that in Australia.”

“There should be real questions asked in the American intelligence community how this could have happened,” Professor Wesley said.

Former NSA senior executive Thomas Drake said the “five eyes” utilise each other’s services for information on other nations.

“Much of it is legit, but increasingly since 9/11 because of the sheer power of technology and access to the world’s communication systems … [agencies have] extraordinary access to even more data on just about anything and anybody,” Drake told ABC.

Indonesia’s minister for religious affairs, Suryadharma Ali, also cancelled a planned visit to Australia following the response from Yudhoyono.

Author and Indonesian political expert Professor Damien Kingsbury was due to host Ali at an event in Melbourne, and
told Al Jazeera the snub was a concerning sign of the deterioration in relations.

“It is still quite significant that a senior minister felt he couldn’t come to Australia at this time,” Kingsbury said.

“It’s pretty disastrous, the issue has effectively ended ongoing diplomatic engagement between Australia and Indonesia.”

“We’ve seen the cancellation and suspension of a number of points of engagement and that has quite distinct implications for Australian government policy in some areas. There is the possibility this matter could continue to escalate if it’s not adequately resolved,” Kingsbury said.

‘Uncomfortable’

The bilateral relationship between the two nations will be “uncomfortable” but it will pass, according to former US assistant secretary of state for East Asia, Kurt Campbell.

“The relationship will be strong again, but there is a ritual quality that I’m afraid you [Australia] will have to go through, and very little you can say now or do is going to ease the next couple of months,” Campbell told ABC.

He said the practice of phone-tapping was an acceptable part of international relations.

“I can tell you that some of the most sensitive spying is done by allies and friends.”

“Some of the most difficult foreign policy challenges – terrorist attacks – actually emanated in Indonesia. Australia has good cause to understand the delicate dynamics that play out behind the scenes with regard to how Indonesia’s thinking about some of those movements and some of the actors inside its country,” Campbell said.

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten said the “vital” relationship between the two countries must be repaired.

“No-one should underestimate what is at stake in maintaining this critical relationship on the best possible terms.

“Co-operation between our countries is fundamental to our national interest – working together on people smuggling, terrorism, trade,” Shorten wrote in an opinion piece for The Guardian.

Prime Minister Abbott is expected to respond to Indonesia’s request for a full written explanation into the phone tapping in the coming days.

Geraldine Nordfeldt Last updated: 22 Nov 2013 15:00

Find this story at 22 November 2013

Indonesia voices anger at Australia alleged spying

(CNN) — Indonesia summoned the Australian ambassador Monday to voice its anger at allegations that Australia tried to listen into the phone calls of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Greg Moriarty. Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia, “took careful note of the issues raised and will report back to the Australian Government,” the Australian embassy in Jakarta said.

Indonesia’s objections stem from reports in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Guardian Australia that said Australian intelligence tracked Yudhoyono’s mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009, monitoring the calls he made and received.
‘We live in a post-Snowden age’
Stone: ‘We’ve bugged the whole world’
Fareed’s Take: Spying on allies

The intelligence agency also tried to listen in on what was said on at least one occasion. But the call was less than a minute long and could not be successfully tapped, ABC reported.

The two media outlets cited documents provided by Edward Snowden, the U.S. national security contractor turned leaker.

“The Australian Government urgently needs to clarify on this news, to avoid further damage,” Indonesian presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah tweeted.

“The damage has been done and now trust must be rebuilt,” he said in another tweet.

Asked in parliament to comment on the reports, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, “all governments gather information and all governments know that every other government gathers information.”

“The Australian Government never comments on specific intelligence matters,” he added. “This has been the long tradition of governments of both political persuasions and I don’t intend to change that today.”

By the CNN Staff
November 18, 2013 — Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)

Find this story at 18 November 2013

© 2013 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Australia spied on Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, leaked Edward Snowden documents reveal

Video: Watch: Michael Brissenden on how leaked documents prove Australia spied on SBY (ABC News)
Photo: The documents show the DSD tracked activity on Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s mobile phone. (Reuters: Supri)
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Australian intelligence tried to listen in to Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s mobile phone, material leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

Documents obtained by the ABC and Guardian Australia, from material leaked by the former contractor at the US National Security Agency, show Australian intelligence attempted to listen in to Mr Yudhoyono’s telephone conversations on at least one occasion and tracked activity on his mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009.
Spy games explained

Australia’s role in the NSA spy program, including what it means for Indonesian relations.

The top-secret documents are from Australia’s electronic intelligence agency, the Defence Signals Directorate (now called the Australian Signals Directorate), and show for the first time how far Australian spying on Indonesia has reached.

The DSD motto stamped on the bottom of each page reads: “Reveal their secrets – protect our own.”

The documents show that Australian intelligence actively sought a long-term strategy to continue to monitor the president’s mobile phone activity.

The surveillance targets also included senior figures in his inner circle and even the president’s wife Kristiani Herawati (also known as Ani Yudhoyono).

Also on the list of targets is the vice president Boediono, the former vice president Yussuf Kalla, the foreign affairs spokesman, the security minister, and the information minister.

Mr Yudhoyono’s spokesman Teuku Faizasyah has responded to the revelations, saying: “The Australian Government needs to clarify this news, to avoid further damage … [but] the damage has been done.”

Asked about the spying in Question Time today, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: “First of all, all governments gather information and all governments know that every other government gathers information… the Australian government never comments on specific intelligence matters. This has been the long tradition of governments of both political persuasions and I don’t intend to change that today.”
Documents list ‘who’s who’ of Indonesian government

One page in the documentation lists the names and the 3G handsets the surveillance targets were using at the time.

A number of the people on the list are lining up as potential candidates for the presidential election to replace Mr Yudhoyono next year.

The documents are titled “3G impact and update” and appear to chart the attempts by Australian intelligence to keep pace with the rollout of 3G technology in Indonesia and across South-East Asia.

A number of intercept options are listed and a recommendation is made to choose one of them and to apply it to a target – in this case the Indonesian leadership.

The document shows how DSD monitored the call activity on Mr Yudhoyono’s Nokia handset for 15 days in August 2009.

One page is titled “Indonesian President voice events” and provides what is called a CDR view. CDR are call data records; it can monitor who is called and who is calling but not necessarily what was said.

Another page shows that on at least one occasion Australian intelligence did attempt to listen in to one of Mr Yudhoyono’s conversations.

But according to the notes on the bottom of the page, the call was less than one minute long and therefore did not last long enough to be successfully tapped.
Factbox: Indonesia and Australia
Indonesia is one of Australia’s most important bilateral relationships.
Indonesia was Australia’s 12th largest trade partner in 2012.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has pledged to increase two-way trade and investment flows.
President Yudhoyono has visited Australia four times during his presidency, more than any predecessor.
Asylum seekers remain a sticking point in relations; Australia seeks active cooperation.
In 2012-13, Australia’s aid assistance to Indonesia was worth an estimated $541.6 million.

Source: http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/indonesia/indonesia_brief.html

Given the diplomatic furore that has already surrounded the claims that the Australian embassy in Jakarta was involved in general spying on Indonesia, these revelations of specific and targetted surveillance activity at the highest level are sure to increase the tension with our nearest and most important neighbour significantly.

On an official visit to Canberra last week, the Indonesian vice president publicly expressed Indonesia’s concern.

“Yes, the public in Indonesia is concerned about this,” Boediono said.

“I think we must look to come to some arrangement that guarantees intelligence information from each side is not used against the other.”

Last week Prime Minister Tony Abbott was keen to play down the significance of the spying allegations, saying that he was very pleased “we have such a close, cooperative and constructive relationship with the Indonesian government”.

That may be a little harder to say today.

By national defence correspondent Michael Brissenden
Updated Mon 18 Nov 2013, 8:11pm AEDT

Find this story at 18 November 2013

© 2013 ABC

Australia’s spy agencies targeted Indonesian president’s mobile phone

Secret documents revealed by Edward Snowden show Australia tried to monitor the mobile calls of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, accompanied by his first lady, Kristiani Herawati, speaks to his Democratic party supporters during a rally in Banda Aceh, Aceh province, in March 2009. Photograph: Supri/Reuters

Australia’s spy agencies have attempted to listen in on the personal phone calls of the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and have targeted the mobile phones of his wife, senior ministers and confidants, a top-secret document from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

The document, dated November 2009, names the president and nine of his inner circle as targets of the surveillance, including the vice-president, Boediono, who last week visited Australia. Other named targets include ministers from the time who are now possible candidates in next year’s Indonesian presidential election, and the first lady, Kristiani Herawati, better known as Ani Yudhoyono.

When a separate document from Snowden, a former contractor to the US’s National Security Agency (NSA), showed Australia had spied on Indonesia and other countries from its embassies, the Indonesian foreign minister, Marty Natalegawa, reacted angrily and threatened to review co-operation on issues crucial to Australia such as people smuggling and terrorism.

The revelation strained a bilateral relationship already under pressure over the Abbott government’s policy to “turn back” boats of asylum seekers coming to Australia. The new leak, published jointly by Guardian Australia and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, reveals the specific top-level targets and is likely to seriously escalate those tensions.

The leaked material is a slide presentation, marked top secret, from the Australian Department of Defence and the Defence Signals Directorate, or DSD, (now called the Australian Signals Directorate), dealing with the interception of mobile phones as 3G technology was introduced in Asia. It includes a slide titled Indonesian President Voice Intercept, dated August 2009 and another slide, titled IA Leadership Targets + Handsets, listing the president and the first lady as having Nokia E90-1s, Boediono as having a BlackBerry Bold 9000, as well as the type and make of the mobile phones held by the other targets.

Also named as targets for the surveillance are Dino Patti Djalal, at the time the president’s foreign affairs spokesman, who recently resigned as Indonesia’s ambassador to the US and is seeking the candidacy in next year’s presidential election for the president’s embattled Democratic party, and Hatta Rajasa, now minister for economic affairs and possible presidential candidate for the National Mandate party. Hatta was at the time minister for transport and his daughter is married to the president’s youngest son.

A slide entitled Indonesian President Voice Intercept (August ’09), shows a call from an unknown number in Thailand to Yudhoyono. But the call did not last long enough for the DSD to fulfil its aims. “Nil further info at this time (didn’t make the dev threshold – only a sub-1minute call),” a note at the bottom says.

Another slide, titled Indonesian President Voice Events, has a graphic of calls on Yudhoyono’s Nokia handset over 15 days in August 2009. It plots CDRs – call data records – which record the numbers called and calling a phone, the duration of calls, and whether it was a voice call or SMS. The agency, in what is standard procedure for surveillance, appears to have expanded its operations to include the calls of those who had been in touch with the president. Another slide, entitled Way Forward, states an imperative: “Must have content.”

Also on the list of “IA Leadership Targets” are:

• Jusuf Kalla, the former vice-president who ran as the Golkar party presidential candidate in 2009.

• Sri Mulyani Indrawati, then a powerful and reforming finance minister and since 2010 one of the managing directors of the World Bank Group.

• Andi Mallarangeng, a former commentator and television host who was at the time the president’s spokesman, and who was later minister for youth and sports before resigning amid corruption allegations.

• Sofyan Djalil, described on the slide as a “confidant”, who until October 2009 was minister for state-owned enterprises.

• Widodo Adi Sucipto, a former head of the Indonesian military who was until October 2009 security minister.

Asked about the previous revelations about the embassies, Tony Abbott emphasised that they occurred during the administration of the former Labor government, that Australia’s activities were not so much “spying” as “research” and that its intention would always be to use any information “for good”. The prime minister has repeatedly insisted Australia’s relationship with Indonesia is “good and getting better”.

Boediono said during his visit to Australia – before being revealed as an intended target of Australia’s surveillance – that the Indonesian public was “concerned” about the spying allegations.

“I think we must look forward to come to some arrangement which guarantees that intelligence information from each side is not used against the other,” he said. “There must be a system.”

At the bottom of each slide in the 2009 presentation is the DSD slogan: “Reveal their secrets – protect our own.” The DSD is credited with supplying the information.

Yudhoyono now joins his German, Brazilian and Mexican counterparts as leaders who have been monitored by a member of Five Eyes, the collective name for the surveillance agencies of the US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, who share information.

Germany, Brazil and Mexico have all protested to the US over the infringement of privacy by a country they regarded as friendly. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, reacted with outrage to the revelation that her personal mobile phone had been tapped by the US, calling President Barack Obama to demand an explanation. The US eventually assured the chancellor that her phone was “not currently being tapped and will not be in the future”.

The Australian slide presentation, dated November 2009, deals with the interception of 3G mobile phones, saying the introduction of 3G in south-east Asia was nearly complete and providing dates for 3G rollout in Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Talking about future plans, the Australian surveillance service says it “must have content” and be able to read encrypted messages, which would require acquiring the keys that would unlock them. Other documents from Snowden show the intelligence agencies have made huge inroads in recent years in finding ways into encrypted messages.

One of the slides, entitled DSD Way Forward, acknowledges that the spy agency’s resources are limited compared with its US and British counterparts. It says there is a “need to capitalise on UKUSA and industry capability”, apparently a reference to the help provided – willingly or under pressure – from telecom and internet companies. The slides canvass “options” for continued surveillance and the final slide advises: “Choose an option and apply it to a target (like Indonesian leadership).”

The tension between Australia and Indonesia began in October when documents revealed by the German newspaper Der Spiegel and published by Fairfax newspapers revealed that Australian diplomatic posts across Asia were being used to intercept phone calls and data. The Guardian then revealed that the DSD worked alongside America’s NSA to mount a massive surveillance operation in Indonesia during a UN climate change conference in Bali in 2007.

But these earlier stories did not directly involve the president or his entourage. Abbott made his first international trip as prime minister to Indonesia and has repeatedly emphasised the crucial importance of the bilateral relationship.

Speaking after his meeting with Boediono last week, Abbott said: “All countries, all governments gather information. That’s hardly a surprise. It’s hardly a shock.

“We use the information that we gather for good, including to build a stronger relationship with Indonesia and one of the things that I have offered to do today in my discussions with the Indonesian vice-president is to elevate our level of information-sharing because I want the people of Indonesia to know that everything, everything that we do is to help Indonesia as well as to help Australia. Indonesia is a country for which I have a great deal of respect and personal affection based on my own time in Indonesia.”

Asked about the spying revelations in a separate interview, Abbott said: “To use the term spying, it’s kind of loaded language … researching maybe. Talking to people. Understanding what’s going on.”

On Monday a spokesman for Abbott said: “Consistent with the long-standing practice of Australian governments, and in the interest of national security, we do not comment on intelligence matters.”

It remains unclear exactly who will contest next year’s Indonesian presidential election, in which Yudhoyono, having already served two terms, is not eligible to stand. Based on recent polling, the popular governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, and former general Prabowo Subianto would be frontrunners.

Ewen MacAskill in New York and Lenore Taylor in Canberra
theguardian.com, Monday 18 November 2013 00.58 GMT

Find this story at 18 November 2013

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