Wednesday, November 20, 2013

1) Indonesia Spies On Its Own In Papua

1) Indonesia Spies On Its Own In Papua
2) Indonesia Suspends People Smuggling Cooperation Following Australia Spy Scandal
3) Indonesia ‘Downgrading’ Australia Ties Amid Spying Row

1) Indonesia Spies On Its Own In Papua

By Marni Cordell
SBY says Australia has breached his trust by tapping his phone. West Papuans know how he feels - they are subjected to oppressive surveillance by the Indonesian state every day, writes Marni Cordell
Amid the fallout from the presidential phone-tapping scandal, an Indonesian human rights defender has spoken out about the Indonesian state’s oppressive surveillance regime against its own citizens in the province of West Papua.
Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, told New Matilda, “We have unlawful intelligence gathering by the Indonesian military against their own citizens in Papua”.
Harsono said the Indonesian government targets ordinary Papuans in a comprehensive surveillance program that includes recruited informants and phone-tapping because it believes Papuan civil society poses a growing threat to its power over the province.
“They recognise that the real threat [to Indonesian power] in Papua is not from the armed wing of the Papuan independence movement, but from student leaders, church leaders, civil society leaders and NGOs,” he said.
Internal military documents leaked in 2011 revealed the extent of the surveillance. According to Human Rights Watch, the approximately 500 pages of documents, dated from 2006 to 2009, include detailed reports of spying on civilians and provide military perspectives on social and political issues in West Papua.
The documents also reveal the military’s deep concerns about international attention on the province. A quarterly report from Indonesia’s special forces (Kopassus) from August 2007 states, “Current political activity in Papua is very dangerous compared to the activities of Papuan armed groups because their access already reaches abroad”.
“[There is a] deep military paranoia in Papua that conflates peaceful political expression with criminal activity,” Harsono said. “It’s outrageous in a modern country like Indonesia that activists, clergy, students and politicians are the targets of military surveillance.”
West Papuan journalist Victor Mambor, who works for the independent online outlet Jubi, told New Matilda he is convinced that his phone is being tapped by the authorities.
“Many West Papuans have a problem with this. I don’t know if it’s the police or the military - they have technology to spy on us on our mobile phones,” he said. “I always change my number every three months or so.”
Mambor said he also regularly receives text messages from anonymous numbers.
“They send text messages saying ‘we will kill you’ and ‘Papuan people are stupid – you want freedom, go to hell’, things like that,” he said. “In the beginning I was scared, but now I think they are only terrorising us to distract us. I’m sure they are just trying to disturb the focus of our work.”
But Andreas Harsono is concerned that the military intelligence gathered in West Papua is being used for more sinister means.
“[The Indonesian government] uses this intelligence gathering to produce their policy on the ground, and this is what Human Rights Watch is worried about, because it is very likely to be used to repress the rights of Papuans,” he said.
Unlike President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose phone-tapping by Australia has caused an international crisis, ordinary West Papuans have no recourse against surveillance by the Indonesian state.

2) Indonesia Suspends People Smuggling Cooperation Following Australia Spy Scandal

Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono speaks to journalists during a press conference at the presidential palace in Jakarta on November 20, 2013. (AFP Photo/Adek Berry)

Indonesia will suspend all intelligence and military cooperation with Australia — including efforts to combat people smuggling — as officials investigate claims that Australia’s intelligence agency spied on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle, the president announced on Wednesday.
“For me personally, and for Indonesia, the wiretapping conducted by Australia toward some officials, including me, is really hard to comprehend,” Yudhoyono said. “It’s not the Cold War-era anymore.”
The president delivered the firm warning to Australian officials in the televised speech Wednesday afternoon, demanding an explanation one day after Prime Minister Tony Abbott refused to apologize for the incident. Bilateral cooperation on intelligence and military matters will be put on hold as Indonesia reviews allegations that Australia’s intelligence agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, attempted to listen in on phone conversations between Yudhoyono, his wife and members of his inner circle.
The allegations, which broke in reports by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the domestic version of the Guardian on Monday, inspired anger in Indonesia as lawmakers and Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa promised repercussions to diplomatic relations if Australia failed to directly address the spying scandal.
“We are downgrading Australia’s relations with us,” Marty said. “Like taps, we are closing off areas of cooperation one by one.”
The cessation of Indonesia’s efforts to combat people smuggling, a hot-button issue in Australia, is a serious step by the Indonesian government. Abbott was elected amid a wave of anti-asylum seeker sentiment on a platform promising a hard-line stance on Australia’s so-called “boatpeople problem,” including claims that Australia’s navy would turn asylum seeker boats around once they entered national waters.
The Australian government’s policies and a previous spying scandal have since damaged ties between the two nations. Jakarta viewed the “tow-back” plan and intelligence activities as a violation of Indonesia’s sovereignty. This most recent scandal added further strain, pulling Yudhoyono into the fray and setting off a flood of nationalist sentiment on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Deputy House Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso, typically a vocal opponent of the central government, applauded Yudhoyono for taking firm action on the spying issue.
“I highly appreciate the government this time,” Priyo told the state-run Antara News Agency, “[They] acted firm and strong by recalling our ambassador to Australia. This action is clear and shows that Australia has made us uncomfortable and unhappy with the wiretapping.”
Indonesia’s intelligence agency, the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), said their Australian counterparts reached out and promised to no longer wiretap Indonesian officials.
“In communication with us they said that the most important thing is now and in the future there won’t be anymore wiretapping,” Marciano Noorman, the head of the BIN, said. “There should be a commitment from [our] intelligence partner in Australia to evaluate and improve the condition in the future.”
But for some Indonesian politicians, assurances from Australia were not enough. The Golkar Party’s Poempida Hidayatulloh urged the Indonesian government to invest in advanced spying technology of its own. The nation needs to take retaliatory measures against Australia, including diplomatic sanctions, as a show of force, he said.
“In solving this problem, just getting angry is not enough,” Poempida said. “This is the time we should leave this loser mentality behind, especially concerning foreign countries. This is the time for Indonesia to remain tough and show the world that we cannot be humiliated.”
Fahri Hamzah, of the Islamist Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS), said Indonesia needs harsher laws against wiretapping, a controversial view that could both provide legal action for those caught spying but also defang the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which can currently wiretap phones without a warrant.
“”How is the president’s handphone unprotected?” Fahri told the Indonesian news portal ”If [Yudhoyono] and his intelligence advisors are not aware that the whole world is now wiretapping [each other], they’re naive.
“The question is, how ready are we?”
— Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

3) Indonesia ‘Downgrading’ Australia Ties Amid Spying Row

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa delivers a statement in Jakarta on November 18, 2013. (AFP Photo/Bay Ismoyo)

[Updated at 1:29 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013]
Indonesia said it was downgrading ties with Canberra over allegations its spies tapped the phone of the president, as the Australian leader Wednesday again refused to apologize over the scandal.
The latest angry outburst came as the head of Indonesia’s intelligence agency said he had received assurances from Australian spy chiefs that no wiretapping would take place in Indonesia ever again.
The spying scandal exploded this week, and has seen Jakarta recall its ambassador from Canberra and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono publicly lambast the Australian premier for showing a lack of remorse.
Indonesia had already said it would review cooperation with Canberra following the reports Australian spies tried to tap the president’s phone and those of his wife and ministers in 2009.
Late Tuesday, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa went a step further, telling reporters: “We are downgrading Australia’s relations with us.”
“Like taps, we are closing off areas of cooperation one by one.”
“We will review Australia-Indonesia relations generally… to make sure that it is not business as usual, not like it used to be,” he added.
He declined to go into detail, but a foreign ministry source said one step could be cutting the number of Indonesian diplomatic personnel in Canberra and asking Australia to do the same in Jakarta.
Indonesia and Australia have traditionally cooperated in many areas, including on anti-terrorism initiatives and on the sensitive issue of asylum-seekers.
Tensions had already risen dramatically since conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott took power in September due to his hardline asylum-seeker policies and earlier spying allegations.
But the row over the alleged spying on the president, first reported in the Australian media and based on leaked documents from US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden, has pushed relations to their lowest level for years.
As the downgrading of ties was announced, Indonesia’s ambassador to Australia, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, held crisis talks Wednesday with Yudhoyono, Natalegawa and the head of the country’s intelligence agency at the presidential palace in Jakarta.
As he arrived for the meeting, intelligence chief Marciano Norman told reporters he had received assurances from Australian spy chiefs.
“Indonesia’s intelligence agency has communicated directly with its Australian counterpart and they say that from now on, it will never happen again,” he said, referring to wiretapping.
In the past, Australian authorities have refused to comment on intelligence matters.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation also said Yudhoyono met Tuesday night with at least three government ministers who are key to Australia’s interests.
Despite the mounting crisis and demands from Jakarta for a public apology or clearer explanation of the spying allegations, Abbott once again refused to say sorry Wednesday.
“I do understand how personally hurtful these allegations have been, these reports have been, for him and his family,” he told parliament.
“I do note there have been allegations and even admissions in the past on this subject, people didn’t overreact then and I certainly don’t propose to overreact now.”
Abbott appeared to be referring to an admission by Jakarta’s former intelligence chief to similar spying operations by Indonesia in the past, reported in the Australian media Wednesday.
The Australian and the tabloid Sydney Daily Telegraph both cited comments from a 2004 television interview with Indonesia’s retiring intelligence chief Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono, in which he said all governments tapped each other’s communications.
He admitted that Jakarta had eavesdropped on the phone calls of Australian politicians, had tapped Australian civil and military communications and even bugged the Australian embassy in Jakarta during the East Timor crisis in 1999.
At the time, no apology was sought by then Australian prime minister John Howard.
The leaked documents, reported by the ABC and the Guardian newspaper, showed that Australia’s electronic intelligence agency tracked Yudhoyono’s activity on his mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009, when Labor’s Kevin Rudd was prime minister.
At least one phone call was reportedly intercepted.
The list of tracking targets also included Yudhoyono’s wife Ani, Vice President Boediono — who was in Australia last week — former vice president Jusuf Kalla, the foreign affairs spokesman, the security minister and the information minister, the reports said.
Agence France-Presse

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