Tony Abbott Needs To Sign A New Spying Protocol With Indonesia: SBY

Tony AbbottGetty / Oscar Siagian

Australia and Indonesia must sign a new agreement before co-operation can continue, said Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Indonesia has halted co-operation on people smuggling, trade, police and military exercises after it was revealed Australian spies listened to Yudhoyono’s mobile phone in 2009.

Abbott wrote to the President to explain the intelligence operation after declining to apologise in Parliament.

Yudhoyono said representatives from the two countries would draft a new “code of ethics” which would be signed before Indonesia and Australia could work together again.

From The ABC:

“I will assign the minister of foreign affairs or special envoy to further and seriously discuss sensitive issues, including the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Australia after the tapping.

“For me, a requirement and a stepping stone [is] the bilateral cooperation protocol that I suggested and [that] has been agreed on by the Prime Minister of Australia.

“[After] Indonesia has gained back its trust to Australia, and after those codes and protocol have been properly executed, then in my opinion the bilateral cooperation that clearly is mutually beneficial shall continue, including military and police cooperation.”

Before a special cabinet meeting yesterday, a photo of the President revising Abbott’s letter was tweeted:

Last week The ABC and The Guardian Australia published the reports, citing documents leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

They show spies at the Defence Signals Directorate (now the ASD) tapped the President’s phone, along with devices owned by his wife, senior politicians and individuals in his inner circle.

The documents — slides from a Power Point presentation — show it was mostly call records which were accessed, which would show who called who, and for how long, though not necessarily what was said.

However on at least one occasion, according to their reports, spies tried to listen to a phone call made by Yudhoyono.

Here’s one of the slides, which shows the target list:

Published with permission of The ABC

There’s more here.

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