back to article Australia makes pinkie-promise to end Indonesia spying

Australia has signed a code of conduct to promise not to spy on Indonesia's elected officials in a bid to heal seeping wounds opened by NSA leaks. In November 2013, documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed Australia had spied on the mobile phone of then-Indonesian-leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), his …

  1. eldakka Silver badge

    I actually have no problems with spy agencies spying on other nations government officials, politicians, ministers, senior civil-servants etc. I mean, that's mostly whats worth spying on in the first place. Any government minister, PM, president king, departmental secretary etc who DOESN'T think they are a target, if not actively being spied/eavesdropped on, are morons.

    What gets me angry tho, is when the spy agencies 'dabble' in law-enforcement, spying on the general populace, and spying on THEIR OWN CITIZENS. That is NOT the job of the spy agencies. They should be concerned with national defense and security, not criminal (i.e. non-terrorist, non-military, non-espionage activities), not 'home-grown' activities that are better left in the hands of local police forces.

    1. dan1980

      "Any government minister, PM, president king, departmental secretary etc . . ."

      Prime Minister's wife?

  2. dan1980

    'Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who was not in power when the spying occurred, initially refused to comment on the allegations and said Australia should not "be expected to detail what [it] does to protect the country".'

    On one hand, there is truth in that. On the other, it's just more indication of how our governments view things.

    Something, something National Security; something, something TERRORISTS!

    And presto - you can avoid any accountability, as if these considerations trumped all others. We all sacrifice security for lifestyle - we chose to drive, which is dangerous; choose to drink alcohol, which can cause health problems; go out at night when we might get mugged; leave our windows open for a cool breeze even though someone could break in; go travelling; cross the road - just bloody going outside is dangerous!

    We trust food suppliers not to poison us, barbers not to stab us with their scissors, dentists not to give us too much anaesthetic, nurses not to steal our newborns from the hospital, construction firms not to build shoddy structures, ship captains not to run aground and bus drivers not too come to work drunk and drive us into a building.

    All those things happen (though I can't recall the barber thing) but yet we, collectively, continue about our lives without undue anxiety when we step on the train or drive over a bridge or eat at a restaurant.

    Why should we treat terrorism and 'national security' any differently? It's a risk and one that we should take reasonable precautions to minimise but, like any risk, we shouldn't let it so frighten us that we abandon our way of life.

    That's a bit of a diversion (it's my way) but the point is that our western democracies have gotten to a stage where our governments feel that protecting 'National Security' and preventing potential terrorist attacks can justify any course of action, no matter how draconian or insular or anti-democratic.

    What people like Tony Abbott don't understand is that we are on 'Team Australia' - it's just that our idea of what that is and yours are at odds and we think your team is a far smaller, far darker, far less desirable gathering than ours.

    We'd rather our version, thanks.

    Sorry - that was a bit of a general 'AAARRGGGHHHHH!!!!' that has been building up with all the crap that is getting - and is trying to be - stuffed down our throats in the name of 'National Security'. Our governments expect to be able to say 'National Security' or 'terrorism' and we will go: "oh, well that's alright then - carry on". They seems surprised when we don't. A government that was truly for (let alone of an by) the people would take that disconnect as a clear sign that perhaps they have it wrong and their actions and assumptions don't actually reflect the wishes and wills of their people and so have a good re-think. Instead they see it as proof that the people just can't be trusted with the truth as they really don't understand what's in their best interests. If they did they would all agree and lay down quietly and think of England.

    1. The Gerb..

      The PM wannabees..

      It should be remembered, in the light of some of the strange comments coming from the current Aust PM, that Tony Abbott is a 'foreigner', who hales from London, as was his bete-noir, Julia Gillard who was from Barry in darkest Wales. He (Tony Abbott) has made a successful go of life here in Oz, but he reeks of the desperate air of one who tries too hard to be 'Australian', as dictated by the Murdoch (or known here as the filthmuck) press.

      This whole indonesian spying lark would not have seen the light of day if the Coalition's ideologues hadn't tried to sandbag the ALP mob with it, then realised (after a swift kick in the bum by the intelligence community) that perhaps it wasn't such a good idea after all...

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