Who spies on Indonesia?

Indonesia was irked upon reports published by foreign media about wiretapping facilities operated by the United States and Australia in their embassies here, and summoned ambassadors of the two countries to seek explanation.

A senior official at the Indonesian foreign ministry summoned Australian ambassador Greg Moriarty on Friday, demanding clarification over the alleged spying.

The ambassador did not make any comment to the media after meeting with the foreign ministry’s Director General Budi Bowo Laksono.

The foreign ministry spokesperson Michael Tene said that the persistence of wiretapping in the sovereign country is not acceptable. If such a facility is operated in the Australian embassy here, Indonesia does not accept it, he added.

“It is against the spirit of good relations between states and against diplomatic ethics,” Tene said.

Indonesia Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Wednesday that Jakarta has asked an explanation from the U.S. government for wiretapping facility ran by U.S. embassy in Jakarta.

“Indonesia cannot accept and has lodged strong protest in relation to existence of wiretapping facility in U.S. embassy in Jakarta,” Marty said in a statement.

“We have discussed this issue with head representative of U.S. embassy in Jakarta, demanding U.S. government’s official explanation regarding the media reports. If the reports were confirmed, such an act is not only a security breach, but also a serious breach on diplomatic ethics and is not in line with the spirit of friendship that has been upheld by the two nations,” Marty said.

Australian embassies are part of a U.S.-led global spying network and are being secretly used to intercept calls and data across Asia, Australia’s Fairfax Mediareported on Thursday.

The top secret Defense Signals Directorate operates the clandestine surveillance facilities at embassies without the knowledge of most Australian diplomats.

“Fairfax Media has been told that signals intelligence collection takes place from embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Beijing and Dili, and High Commissions in Kuala Lumpur and Port Moresby, as well as other diplomatic posts,” Fairfax said.

Some of the details are revealed in a secret U.S. National Security Agency document leaked by exiled American whistle-blower Edward Snowden and published by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.

The document shows the existence of a highly sensitive signals intelligence collection program, code-named STATEROOM, conducted from sites at U.S. embassies and consulates and from the diplomatic missions of other intelligence partners including Australia, Britain and Canada.

“They (the surveillance facilities) are covert, and their true mission is not known by the majority of the diplomatic staff at the facility where they are assigned,” the document says.

A former Australian Defense Intelligence officer has told Fairfax Media the directorate conducts surveillance operations from Australian embassies across Asia and the Pacific.

shanghaidaily.com

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