×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Australia Spied On Indonesian President

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the hey-neighbor dept.

Government 213

mask.of.sanity writes "Australia tracked calls by Indonesia's president, documents leaked by defence contractor Edward Snowden reveal. The nation's top spy agency the Australian Signals Directorate tracked phone calls made and received on the mobile phone of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for 15 days in August 2009, and also tracked his wife and inner political circle. Indonesia was Australia's nearest and most important regional neighbour."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

213 comments

Who's on first? (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 months ago | (#45452139)

"I didn't spy, YOU did!"

"No I didn't, YOU did!"

"Well, okay, but I didn't spy on Bob."

Bob: "Oh yes you did!"

"Shit. Okay. we all fucking spied."

"yip"

Anyone surprised? (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | about 5 months ago | (#45452155)

Anyone surprised? That's what intelligence agencies do.

Re:Anyone surprised? (1, Troll)

feral-troll (3419661) | about 5 months ago | (#45452539)

Anyone surprised? That's what intelligence agencies do.

When the Menzies government went looking for a new bomber aircraft in 1963 it was with the requirement that the bomber should have sufficient range to drop a nuclear weapon on Jakarta. So, no, it does not surprise me that the Australians spied on the Indonesian president and it would surprise me even less if later turns out that the Indonesians reciprocated by spying on his Australian counterpart. In fact the only thing that will surprise me is if it later turns out that spying on each others presidents is all these two countries did.

Re:Anyone surprised? (2)

donscarletti (569232) | about 5 months ago | (#45452577)

In fact the only thing that will surprise me is if it later turns out that spying on each others presidents is all these two countries did.

I'd be even more surprised to find out that Australia had a president. Unless the Indonesians mistook the President of the Australian Senate for an important political leader.

Re:Anyone surprised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452589)

In fact the only thing that will surprise me is if it later turns out that spying on each others presidents is all these two countries did.

I'd be even more surprised to find out that Australia had a president. Unless the Indonesians mistook the President of the Australian Senate for an important political leader.

It would surprise me even more if Indonesia wasn't Australia's regional neighbour any more. Has the country been beamed in to space? Or has continental drift speeded up dramatically in the region recently?

Re:Anyone surprised? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45453097)

Yeah spying on important people of other countries like leaders is what any spy agency should be doing.

But if your spy agency spies on your own people at its own whims and fancies, including the people who are in charge of controlling that spy agency, it gives them too much power and leverage.

When it is illegal for them to do so, but they do it, and lie about it; you should start worrying. If they get away with it, you should be really worried on who is controlling who.

I think this story is just a distraction from what the NSA did.

well that's just redundant (-1, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#45452157)

I sent a very well written, less wordy version of Snowden's release to major news outlets but none of them ran with that version for some reason. It said:
Everyone spied on everyone all the time.

False (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452395)

Everyone spy agency would *LIKE* to spy on everyone all the time. But various factors stop that.

Budget, you don't have a $10 billion a year budget.
Technical ability, you don't get access to zero day exploits
Route, the comms doesn't traverse routes you can access.
Political reasons, your own democracy can't be spied on, because you'll chose your politicians.
Protection, the people you want to spy on are protected by a foreign spy agency
Motive, you just can't justify spying on people of no importance.
Balance, the damage the spying does far outweighs the information you would obtain.

Likewise every country would secretly like to control all other politicians, even their allies, but the same factors that stop you spying on them prevent that.

When it comes to the NSA though, all of these seem to have been removed. They have the budget, the zero day exploits, the comms crosses the USA. the democracy doesn't know, and there are enough traitors in power to prevent it being stopped, protection is gone, British GCHQ works for the CIA not British Parliament, you put a general 'collect it all' in charge, and the people doing the spying are getting budget increases so they don't feel any balance.

So no, everyone doesn't spy on everyone else. It's largely the NSA spying on the world mostly UK, Aus, Can, NZ, and in turn these 4 tools spying on the rest for the NSA.

Re:False (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452457)

So no, everyone doesn't spy on everyone else. It's largely the NSA spying on the world mostly UK, Aus, Can, NZ, and in turn these 4 tools spying on the rest for the NSA.

The GCHQ was/is just as heavily involved as the NSA. And if you think China and Russia don't have similar programs and capabilities then you're either an idiot or a racist, or both.

What cracks me up is even here, in a story about Australia doing the exact same shit, we get some mouth-breather doing a bunch of hand-waving and trying to downplay the events, and then circling back around to talk smack about the NSA.
You dickheads just can't stand not bitching about the US in some fashion or another, can you? I bet you're all kinds of pissed off that maybe, just maybe, the US isn't the sole bastion of conniving and trickery in the world, because that might ruin your righteous indignation and hatred of all things American.

Re:False (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452479)

GCHQ work for the NSA. They follow the surveillance commands of the NSA, hand data on their own citizens to the NSA, and keep those acts secret from Parliament and the Cabinet.

All the 5 eyes countries are in the same shape. New Zealand PM even had to pass a law legalizing surveillance, right in the middle of the PRISM scandal FFS, he's so under CIA control!

Do you think US is in control or NSA? Because that's a coin toss right now, but the others, they're firmly under CIA/NSA control.

"the US isn't the sole bastion of conniving and trickery in the world, because that might ruin your righteous indignation and hatred of all things American"

Try the jingoism all you like, the US democracy didn't do this spying, it's a faction of the military that did this surveillance. "All things American" means nothing when 80% of Americans think the NSA is out of control and the elected leaders are covering for them.

Re:False (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45453053)

To be honest i don't think many people care that a political figure got spied upon. They disliked the fact that they were getting spied on by their own government (meaning they get to pay for it as well), or one that's meant to be an ally, or one they already hate for other reasons.

Re:well that's just redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452611)

Thankfully I am not the only one to repeat this quote "Everyone spied on everyone all the time". Because of the stuff he keeps leaking I really have to wonder if the US and other countries governments are using him as PR to measure where the general public is at with being monitored.

Nothing Snowden has leaked has shown anything that hasn't being going on prior and since WWII.

The FBI and CIA monitored the Black Panthers, MLK Jr, The Kennedy's, Larry Flint, I could go on and on, and those are the outspoken ones let alone the ones that worked behind the scenes of other movements, or politics.. How did they do it, by monitoring the general public, for signs someone is a potential target!

When he exposes how deep the US spying network really is, such as other agencies, private contractors/companies, ect, then we will be getting somewhere.

Re:well that's just redundant (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452707)

"Nothing Snowden has leaked has shown anything that hasn't being going on prior and since WWII."

Most of these programs began in 2011, the internet mass surveillance began in 2002, was stopped in 2005, and restarted in 2007. The technology to mass spy on everyone on the planet didn't exist even in 1995, let alone 1945, GCHQ's 'Tempora' only began in 2011 and is still waiting a law to make it legal. New Zealands mass surveillance officially only began in June this year.

These programs weren't even running during the cold war on the democratic side of the wall. Stasi and KGB had a go at it, but the technology wasn't there for true remote mass surveillance.

So no, it's new.

they're still neighbors (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about 5 months ago | (#45452159)

is, not was

Re:they're still neighbors (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about 5 months ago | (#45452189)

is, not was

Still nearest neighbor? Of course. Still most important regional neighbor? Hmmm... maybe?

Re:they're still neighbors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452263)

Yeah, I'm not sure where that comment came from either...

Consider the fact sheets put out by the governments department of foreign affairs and trade:
http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/fs/indo.pdf

Compared to, for example:
http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/fs/chin.pdf or
http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/fs/usa.pdf

Re:they're still neighbors (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#45452555)

well they have about 30-40x the population of say new zealand don't they?

Approved by GCHQ? (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 5 months ago | (#45452171)

The delay in publishing this story is excessive, even by slashdot standards. Was GCHQ reluctant to release it on their tech news site while the Democracy Forum conference in Bali and CHOGM in Sri Lanka were still ongoing?

Re:Approved by GCHQ? (2, Informative)

bunkymag (1567407) | about 5 months ago | (#45452297)

While there were hints of news around this topic previously, the details that came to light are new (if unsurprising), and the story is front page news in Australia today - see for example ABC News [abc.net.au] .

Re:Approved by GCHQ? (0)

c0lo (1497653) | about 5 months ago | (#45452405)

The delay in publishing this story is excessive, even by slashdot standards. Was GCHQ reluctant to release it on their tech news site while the Democracy Forum conference in Bali and CHOGM in Sri Lanka were still ongoing?

No, there was the necessary approval CGHQ needed to get from NSA to further approve the submission on /.

Re:Approved by GCHQ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452871)

This was widely and prominently published in the Australian media weeks ago, both in the Fairfax and News Ltd media, and we were publically reprimanded by the Indonesian government for it. It happened at a very inconvenient time for our new goverment, as they were half way through negotiating with Indonesia over asylum seeker boats at that time. It led to a major humiliation for the government, as the Indonesians were so pissed off with the spying allegations that they refused to accept an asylum seeker boat the Australians were trying to return. It led to a stand off and we eventually had to back down to Indonesia, which let me tell you is not a good look in Australia.

I would put the delay down to the simple fact that news from foreign countries necessarily arrives in the US (or anywhere) in a delayed and distorted form, rather than some kind of conspiracy to assist the Australian government .

Are we surprised? (4, Insightful)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 5 months ago | (#45452175)

I would be far more surprised if Australia wasn't doing this. What's more there would be a real problem if they weren't.

In terms of potential conflict with another sovereign state Indonesia simply has to rank highly for Australia. It is close by, has a large military, and has a history of conflicts with Australia. The risk may be very very low, but like house insurance, the risks of your house burning to the ground are low but you still take out insurance.

Re:Are we surprised? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452587)

The interesting thing here is that Australia spied on behalf of NSA. Essentially this is the US spying by proxy. I hope that Australia got something good out of the deal because pissing of your neighbors can be pretty expensive.

Re: Are we surprised? (3, Interesting)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 5 months ago | (#45452953)

Yes australia did. Its called Anzus. Perhaps one of the biggest treaty coupes in Australias history.

Despite what people may think australia cannot defend itself without support. America is the ONLY logical source of that support.

Re: Are we surprised? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45453081)

Despite what people may think australia cannot defend itself against China without support.

Fixed.

Please shoot this man. (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 months ago | (#45452191)

Dear America,

Why, with the biggest arsenal in the world, with terrorists shitting bricks in Guantanamo, with several dictators sabre rattling and then sitting down and suddenly behaving when three aircraft carriers and a full entourage show up off their coast, can we not manage to deal with this one, simple, irritation? Just give him what he wants -- he wants to be a martyr. He leaks, and he leaks, and at this point he's probably inventing new documents to leak. Snowden might as well be a brand name; it's got household recognition. So please tell me... what's the hold up on pulling the trigger?

This is an honest question; I simply do not understand why we're holding out on this one guy, when we've sent in Seal Team Six to give people who have done less in economic damage severe and sudden lead poisoning and then dumped their body uncermoniously in the ocean where it'll never be found. I'm not asking for arguments for/against Snowden or what he's doing. I honestly don't care at this point. Maybe he's telling the truth. Maybe he's lying through his teeth. Maybe he's right and maybe he's wrong... but American policy since pre-WWI has been pretty straightforward regarding spies and espionage: We execute them, as a matter of public policy. So why the change now?

And again, no pro or anti-snowden here. The facts are the facts; he's a threat to national security, right or wrong. And we've dealt with those types of threats pretty consistently from a policy standpoint. Until now. What about making him a martyr is so unappealing that we're reversing on nearly 100 years of public policy on this issue? Really, truly, I'd like to know what the reasoning is here; And yet again -- this isn't a moral judgement on whether he's right or wrong. It is, in the final analysis, immaterial. When a hungry bear takes a run at you, you don't ask whether or not he was treated well, or if he was previously in captivity, or whether he's defending his cubs or not. It's you, or the bear. End of story.

I honestly cannot fathom why they don't just end Snowden. We do worse to people who peddle drugs in this country; he's done more damage economically than they have. Soooo... where's the hailstorm of bullets I've come to expect from America? Right or wrong, it's what we're known for. So, why aren't we doing our signature move on this guy?

Re: Please shoot this man. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452211)

Please shoot the man that wrote this comment. Now, I don't claim to agree or disagree with him, but he very clearly needs to die. Again I claim no pro or con to his argument, but he has done considerable damage to this website and needs to be shot

Re:Please shoot this man. (3, Insightful)

enter to exit (1049190) | about 5 months ago | (#45452233)

You're not particularly thoughtful are you?

Killing him won't destroy his documents. It's certain he's got multiple backups with multiple people.

Why would the US government risk egg on their faces and a further highlight the degradation of American Ideals for nothing?

Re:Please shoot this man. (0, Offtopic)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 months ago | (#45452283)

Killing him won't destroy his documents. It's certain he's got multiple backups with multiple people.

We took a stand; we don't negotiate with terrorists. That's the policy. We got a guy out there who has made demands, and when his demands weren't met, started leaking classified documents. That's what terrorism is: He tried to goad the government into a specific course of action by inspiring fear.

Whether he has backups or not is immaterial. Osama Bin Laden had backups -- how many of his number two guys did we ice before we finally got to him? A lot. But we did. We sent a message.

Why would the US government risk egg on their faces and a further highlight the degradation of American Ideals for nothing?

American ideals? Please, elaborate. Tell me, specifically, which ones you think matter here. Because right now all you're doing is making a vague handwave towards flags and patriotism, and isn't that what we've been accusing the government of doing? Isn't that what we're campaigning to stop? To get some honest to god transparency?

So please, be specific. I insist.

Re:Please shoot this man. (5, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about 5 months ago | (#45452513)

Enlighten me: exactly what demands did Snowden make? The man is an idealist - nobody will disagree - but it is ridiculous to label him a terrorist for whistle-blowing things the government is doing. If what your government is doing terrifies you, I'd argue the problem is with your government, not the whistle-blower.

Re:Please shoot this man. (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 5 months ago | (#45452545)

You and that cold fjord guy should totally hook up. You've got so much in common, I'm sure you'd hit it off straight away.

Re:Please shoot this man. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452647)

You and that cold fjord guy should totally hook up. You've got so much in common, I'm sure you'd hit it off straight away.

I am still not convinced that girlintraining and cold fjord are different people. Cold fjord seems to have a style of being 'lucid with possible poor citation' while girlintraining is longwinded, pulls reasonable sounding things straight out of her ass and tends to be far more eloquent.

Both push this similar mishmash of ideas, and just like the shill accounts are quickly modded up to +5 only to be modded back into oblivion the next day.

Cut out the action movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452245)

...and get off the sauce. No one is going to risk starting World War III over this guy by sending troops onto Russian soil.

Here comes the downmods (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 months ago | (#45452261)

Here's the thing guys. This isn't a troll. It's a politically unpopular thing to say, but we're all thinking it. This is America. Good, bad, this is how democracy works. We ask the hard questions. The uncomfortable ones. You people ask and beg and bitch and plead with and about our government regarding surveillance, and how your free speech is being oppressed... but when someone pops the question everyone wants to talk about, you're gonna shut them down. I posted this knowing it would go straight to the depths of this website.

And the real kicker is; no government man in a black helicopter made any of you push the downmod button. You did that. So pro or anti snowden alike... you all got one thing in common: You're afraid to stand up and ask the hard questions. You'd rather let the government take care of things for you, and then bitch about the result. Well, you don't get that privilege if you can't sit down and reason out an argument for why, or why not, to do a hard thing. You don't get to complain about government officials riding roughshod over our rights, because if you're not gonna excercise them to begin with, then why do you even care?

We need to ask this question. This is how we've done business for a very long time. If the policy has changed, shouldn't we, the public, the people, be asking why it was done without our input? Whichever side of the issue you're on, or even no side at all, it should bother you just a bit that nobody anymore can ask the hard questions without being thought of as a "troll" or that it's "flamebait". Because it's neither. And to Godwin this whole thing, yeah, I'm gonna drop a Nazi reference now -- how do you think all those Jews got exterminated? They voted for Hitler. And then they stopped talking. They let the government do whatever it wanted, and as long as they got economic security and comfort, they didn't ask publicly what the cost was. But they knew. Yeah, they knew something was wrong. But they weren't gonna be the ones to talk.

Talking, people, is what democracy is about. If you don't talk, you don't have a democracy, except on paper. So talk people. Snowden lives. Snowden dies. Some other option. Step up to the microphone and say something. Or... or you can sit there and sneer, just like the german people did. But think about where it got them. Decisions need to be made. If you believe in democracy, you should make your opinion known -- because otherwise, the decision will be made without any of our input, and I promise you.. it'll be even worse than what I've put on the table.

Mod this troll too (0, Offtopic)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 months ago | (#45452299)

You guys just don't get it. You're the very thing you claim to despise: The government comes and squishes free speech because it's unpopular... but then here you are, doing the same damn thing. The government isn't suppressing us: WE are suppressing us. We're plugging our ears and singing "Glory Glory Hallelujah."

And then you people wonder why we get shit like behavioral profiling, full body scanners, and police claiming they can do whatever they want. Well, look in the mirrors guys. You're staring at the reason: It's your steadfast refusal to get involved in the democratic process.

You think I'm wrong? You think this discussion hasn't been had in the oval office? By all means, come out and say so. Or you can sit on the sidelines and watch everything go to shit because you were too cowardly to even offer an opinion.

Re:Mod this troll too (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452353)

You guys just don't get it. You're the very thing you claim to despise: The government comes and squishes free speech because it's unpopular... but then here you are, doing the same damn thing. The government isn't suppressing us: WE are suppressing us. We're plugging our ears and singing "Glory Glory Hallelujah."

You have the right to free speech, you don't have the right to force anyone to listen to it. You got downmoded, this isn't jackbooted thugs stepping on your throat. This is the collective public saying they think you're a moron and have no interest in listening to the drivel coming out of you. The paranoid schizophrenic hobo shouting on the street corner about the CIA using woodpeckers to control the russians has the right to say his nonsense. That doesn't mean I have to listen to it.

Re:Mod this troll too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452531)

You think I'm wrong?

Not only wrong, you're clearly stupid.

Re:Mod this troll too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452897)

Here's the thing. You're a well known troll and all-around stupid bitch who often talks out of her ass. Remember "Autoland"? The only reason you get modded up sometimes is because you play to the croud on some issues and other times you're simply modded up by neck-beards that haven't gotten laid in the past decade who see "girl" in a username and get all horny, not realizing of course that you are a butch lesbian. Go fuck yourself and leave Slashdot. You troll and contribute nothing interesting, insightful, or meaningful.

Re:Please shoot this man. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452347)

Killing him won't hide the evidence, and it'd make people who don't care finally notice that their government is evil. It only works for the mafia because the way they must deal with public opinion is different. A government can't openly kill all dissidents like that, not unless it's looking for trouble. There's a reason people smarter than you make important decisions.

Re:Please shoot this man. (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#45452357)

There are quite a few reasons not to kill Snowden.

First and foremost: It's pointless. The cat's out of the bag and unless he's REALLY stupid, he's got some kind of dead man switch going. Like "if I vanish, publish that crap". Possibly he even informed the relevant places that this is the case. Or maybe he informed them and is just bluffing. And even if not, the damage is already done, there is precious little he could add to it anyway. At any rate, killing him won't accomplish anything beneficial for the US government. But there are some decisive drawbacks to it.

First, he's not in some insignificant backwater -stan country, he's in Russia. Remember that speck on the map? If not, ask your daddy, he'll tell you about them Russkies and how they used to be the other side of the nuke equilibrium. Also their special forces ain't what you're used to fighting. They're not some half trained religious nutjobs with outdated guns, they're top trained completely insane nutjobs with modern equipment who don't even ponder whether "collateral damage" could possibly have some kind of political impact. The kind of insane nuts that flood a theater full of hostages with nerve gas 'cause some terrorists might be inside. Not quite the kind of enemy you really want to fight over an insignificant nuisance.

And then of course there's the other reason: Public opinion. The US government already has a pretty bad rep, both with its citizens and with people abroad, but even with various governments that got pissed by having their cells and other forms of communication tapped and sniffed into. And then the US goes and kills the person who exposed it. Not only will it instantly raise the question why, and whether he had something even more dangerous to say, it also destroys the last form of goodwill the US still have. Technically, the US, and especially its government, would lose the last bit of credibility and trust it might have with some parts of the world.

In other words, the best thing the US can do right now is to simply wait for it to blow over and possibly start a war or two to distract the world.

Re:Please shoot this man. (1)

phayes (202222) | about 5 months ago | (#45452435)

Yeah, loosing credibility was the reason Stalin refused to have Trotsky killed once he killed off all his sons & chased him from Russia. It's also the reason that Putin refused to have Litvinenko poisoned with Polonium. Because, you know if either of these had occurred (but especially the second) that would have precluded anyone supposedly working for freedom to request asylum there...

I'm not calling for snowden's assassination but "loosing credibility" is a farcical reason for not doing it.

Re:Please shoot this man. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#45452463)

Stalin didn't have to keep up the illusion of a democracy. Everyone already knew that the elections are a farce, something that isn't out yet in the US it seems.

Re:Please shoot this man. (1)

phayes (202222) | about 5 months ago | (#45453029)

So, Putin's assassination of Litvinenko (& Russia's subsequent loss of credibility) explains why Snowden couldn't possibly be hiding in Moscow? Oh, wait...

Re:Please shoot this man. (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 5 months ago | (#45452509)

The kind of insane nuts that flood a theater full of hostages with nerve gas 'cause some terrorists might be inside.

Now now, you don't know that it was nerve gas. It's still officially a mystery gas. The authorities refused to release information about its makeup, even to the doctors who were desperately trying to save the poisoned hostages. In any case, the hostages were just lucky only about a quarter of them were killed. They could have all ended up summarily executed like the majority of the terrorists (most of whom were unconscious). Interestingly, even the terrorists who were captured alive turned out to have actually died in the theater afterwards, which has fueled speculation that the whole thing was set up by FSB agent provocateurs in the first place.

Re:Please shoot this man. (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 5 months ago | (#45452571)

Wut? They later came out and said it was xenon - displace air, lower partial pressure of oxygen, make people pass out.

Re:Please shoot this man. (2)

tragedy (27079) | about 5 months ago | (#45452885)

Who said that? The prevailing opinion is that it was some variant of fentanyl. I strongly suspect you're joking, but I'll humor you. Xenon wouldn't make any sense for a number of reasons. Some of the hostage-takers used gas masks, but they weren't self contained breathing systems with their own oxygen supply from any report I've seen. If anything had been used that lowered the oxygen content of the air, the gas masks would have been ineffective. Also, reports are that hostages smelled the gas. Xenon is odorless. Also, Xenon is very dense compared to regular air, it could displace oxygen, sure, but you would have to fill the theater from the bottom up with a massive amount of it. Symptoms of the affected after the event are also not consistent with simple oxygen deprivation.

Re:Please shoot this man. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45453061)

If Snowden steps outside Russia, you can bet that Obama will, despite what he said, scramble some jets and either take him in or take him out.

And if the USA does have Snowden assassinated, what exactly is Putin going to do? Bar them from the Sochi Olympics?
A lot of the rightwing already think Obama is a pussy compared to dear old Vlad so what exactly does he have to lose?

And whose goodwill is America in danger of losing? That of the allies whose secrets are ALSO being exposed and have no recourse?
I'm betting one of them may act before Obama does.

Re:Please shoot this man. (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#45452813)

Why, with the biggest arsenal in the world, with terrorists shitting bricks in Guantanamo, with several dictators sabre rattling and then sitting down and suddenly behaving when three aircraft carriers and a full entourage show up off their coast, can we not manage to deal with this one, simple, irritation? Just give him what he wants -- he wants to be a martyr. He leaks, and he leaks, and at this point he's probably inventing new documents to leak. Snowden might as well be a brand name; it's got household recognition. So please tell me... what's the hold up on pulling the trigger?

Point 1: It's Russia with nukes. You shouldn't be going around advocating the execution of people when you can't be bothered to understand that there are consequences to that.

Point 2: Snowden's leaks aren't damaging national security, but rather strengthening it by revealing US federal government abuses.

Point 3: Assassination is not a signature US move. In fact, we're rather bad at it.

Point 4: If you meant satire, you're going about it in a rather bone-headed way.

Re:Please shoot this man. (3, Interesting)

nospam007 (722110) | about 5 months ago | (#45452823)

"The facts are the facts; he's a threat to national security, right or wrong. "

You got that wrong. He's a threat to the National Security _Agency_!
National security is quite OK.

Re:Please shoot this man. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452935)

If you kill Snowden, you can kiss goodbye everything American, and not just economy. You would be as alone as North-korea now. and you wouldn't be better.

TWO WEEKS OLD (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452195)

Slashdot, where the fastest people on the net read the slowest news.

Nearest neighbour (2, Informative)

SirAdelaide (1432553) | about 5 months ago | (#45452205)

Australia's nearest neighbour was and is Papua New Guinea. You can almost walk from Papua to Australia at low tide (if you have very long legs).

Second nearest is Tasmania, followed by Indonesia.

Re: Nearest neighbour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452225)

not sure if troll

Re:Nearest neighbour (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | about 5 months ago | (#45452231)

You can almost walk from Papua to Australia at low tide (if you have very long legs).

Or a kangaroo to ride, of course.

Re:Nearest neighbour (5, Funny)

SirAdelaide (1432553) | about 5 months ago | (#45452407)

That far north the kangaroos don't work properly. They tend to climb trees and then fall out instead of the usual behaviour of offering bouncy rides.

Re:Nearest neighbour (4, Informative)

FunkDup (995643) | about 5 months ago | (#45452937)

offering bouncy rides.

When Australia was first settled a few people did indeed try it. I remember a school teacher showing us some drawings of special saddles and other stuff that people had made for the purpose. The problem is that a roo large enough to carry a human is a powerful and aggressive animal, it puts up a hell of a fight. There were at least a couple of people that somehow managed to saddle the roo and then mount the saddle, but in both cases the roo just bashed them into a tree tree or something. The first seven people to try it were all killed. I've never heard of anyone trying it since.

Re:Nearest neighbour (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about 5 months ago | (#45452253)

Australia's nearest neighbour was and is Papua New Guinea. You can almost walk from Papua to Australia at low tide (if you have very long legs).

Second nearest is Tasmania, followed by Indonesia.

FYI, Tasmania is still an Australian state (part of Australia as a country, not a neighbour of Australia).

Re:Nearest neighbour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452255)

Hahaha - nice backhanded Tasmania slur... it's not like they are a part of Australia or anything... :)

Re:Nearest neighbour (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | about 5 months ago | (#45452257)

You're both right and wrong.

Right about Papua, wrong about Tasmania. Tasmania is part of Australia. (Or perhaps this is some Australian joke?)

Re:Nearest neighbour (1)

grcumb (781340) | about 5 months ago | (#45452351)

Australia's nearest neighbour was and is Papua New Guinea. You can almost walk from Papua to Australia at low tide (if you have very long legs).

Second nearest is Tasmania, followed by Indonesia.

You fail at geography, but you will never go thirsty at any Tasmanian pub. :-)

...And you might want to remember Timor Leste, which is about as close as Papua New Guinea.

Re:Nearest neighbour (1)

SirAdelaide (1432553) | about 5 months ago | (#45452425)

Yes, it is worth remembering East Timor, they get forgotten fairly often, like Papua New Guinea.

But they are a bit further away. From closest point on mainland Australia to nearest point of other places, distances are:

Papua New Guinea: 170 km
Tasmania: 220 km
Indonesia (Timor): 440 km
East Timor: 513 km

Re:Nearest neighbour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452739)

How far is Christmas Island from Indonesia? Pretty sure it's further than Thursday Island is from PNG (you can see PNG from Australian land), but it's a lot closer than Timor Leste is from Oz.

Re:Nearest neighbour (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#45452543)

Australia's nearest neighbour was and is Papua New Guinea. You can almost walk from Papua to Australia at low tide (if you have very long legs).

Second nearest is Tasmania, followed by Indonesia.

As much as we dont like the situation, Tasmania is still part of Australia and technically, not a neighbour.

Re:Nearest neighbour (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 5 months ago | (#45452569)

You think your comment is an intelligent retort. But it is not.

In fact it is so stupid as to boggle the mind.

Currently AUS and Indonesia are in a semi-turf war over PPNG. Indonesia are spreading their special brand of cruelty (which includes genocide Ref: 3 East Timor) there also and have shown that war crimes and other atrocities are not below them.

Re:Nearest neighbour (1)

isorox (205688) | about 5 months ago | (#45452867)

Australia's nearest neighbour was and is Papua New Guinea. You can almost walk from Papua to Australia at low tide (if you have very long legs).

Wow, I hadn't looked into it before, but there's a lot of islands in the Torres Strait, and Austrailia gets to about 2 miles from Papua New Guinea!

Was I spied upon, by my phone cam? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452209)

A few days ago I was browsing some Middle East news on a Middle East news site. Suddenly my phones camera flash goes off, which I don't recall having seen before and I get the suspicion someone took a photo of me using my phone camera... Yes, I use Android but that is really not the point. Is this a known 'trick' on phones? I think I have read about a similar style, abusing peoples laptop webcams.

(no didn't wan't to login today...)

Re:Was I spied upon, by my phone cam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452289)

Are you a current or former leader of a South East Asian country rich in natural resources ripe for exploitation by Australian companies?

If not, then it is likely you are just suffering from paranoid delusions. At least until Snowden releases his next set of documents exposing more of our ... damn did I just say our ... backspace backspace delete damn this voice recognition software ... don't

Re:Was I spied upon, by my phone cam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452325)

Had it not been dark cloudy weather I wouldn't have noticed it. The flash that was set off was really weak.

Re:Was I spied upon, by my phone cam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452363)

Had it not been dark cloudy weather I wouldn't have noticed it. The flash that was set off was really weak.

At least you know it's not the government spying on you. If it had been they wouldn't have used the flash and instead would have just enhanced the image until they could see what they needed to. It was probably just some terrorist hoping to steal your credit cards.

Re:Was I spied upon, by my phone cam? (2)

tragedy (27079) | about 5 months ago | (#45452517)

Zoom in! Enhance! Zoom in some more here! Enhance! Zoom in on that reflection! Enhance! Zoom in! Ehance! Rotate around so we can see his face in the reflection instead of the back of his head! Enhance! We've got him!

Governments have always spied on each other (2)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about 5 months ago | (#45452223)

Since ancient times, governments have always spied on one another with varying effectiveness. It's just in our modern times, with the advent of the Internet, governments not only spy on each other but on as many others as they possibly can. Unlike governments of course most people don't have such deep dark secrets and their communications with one another are almost always quite boring. Would it not be nice if all the spies got bored to death by all the mundane things we have to say to one another?

Do unto thy neighbour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452227)

Indonesia 'was' Australia's nearest and most important regional neighbour

He, he.

"Was"? (5, Funny)

macraig (621737) | about 5 months ago | (#45452241)

Indonesia was Australia's nearest and most important regional neighbour.

So has Australia swallowed it whole like a fratboy scarfing a goldfish and I just missed the news?

Re:"Was"? (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 5 months ago | (#45452303)

So has Australia swallowed it whole like a fratboy scarfing a goldfish and I just missed the news?

The other way around. Indonesia sent an army of boat people to take over from the inside. It's been widely reported in the news over the last 10 years or so, especially around election time.

Re:"Was"? (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 5 months ago | (#45452321)

Tony Abbott (Aussie PM) is the Australian George W Bush, so standby for 3 more years of of fratboy level leadership.

Re:"Was"? (1)

macraig (621737) | about 5 months ago | (#45452339)

And John Howard was the Bush Mini-Me, so... more of the same!

Re:"Was"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452687)

We've had two Prime Minister's between those two...

Re:"Was"? (1)

macraig (621737) | about 5 months ago | (#45452709)

But wasn't Gillard just more of the same, too? *ducks*

Re:"Was"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452767)

You forgot about Rudd, the egotistical narcisist who, everytime he had an important announcement to make, burst out crying like a baby

Surprise! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452333)

Everyone spied on everyone else! Can we move on now?

Grow up, children. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452451)

Every major power spies on every other major power.
We humans have good reason not to trust each other.

Wrong reaction. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45452533)

While the most frequent reaction here is "Well, duh!" (and I must admit it was my first reaction too) that's not the point.

The point is that my government is doing that, and I strongly disapprove of it. Your government is doing that and you (perhaps) strongly disapprove of it. If we have the luck to live in democracies, it's our fucking duty to do something about it.

More like wrong focus (2)

Jakosa (667951) | about 5 months ago | (#45452801)

The fact that modern democracies have these grey-shaded institutions and make use of them to spy on each other is something that we probably will have to live with, and maybe even appreciate. As long as the targets for the espionage is large centralized power centres, like government, the military or organized, violent groups. In some way I think that we need, as in Iain Banks culrure-books, someone to step in in "special circumstances." Assassination, revolt or similar should of course rather NOT be the job of our intelligence services. Think if MI6 and CIA hadn't instigated a coup in Iran in 1953 against one of the regions first democratic government? How would the middle east have looked today?

But the really big wrong that Snowden has revealed is mass-surveillance of the entire population. This kind of technological spying can only be used for one thing: anti-democratic, cost-heavy practises, targeted against the press, grass-root and the very population that the system was intended to protect.

Re:Wrong reaction. (2)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 5 months ago | (#45452873)

The point is that my government is doing that, and I strongly disapprove of it. Your government is doing that and you (perhaps) strongly disapprove of it. If we have the luck to live in democracies, it's our fucking duty to do something about it.

Actually, I'm not sure I disapprove of the Australian government spying on Indonesia. There are a number of issues in Indonesia that impact on Australia directly including: government stability, fundamentalist Islam, asylum seekers, human rights abuses (e.g Aceh [wikipedia.org] , East Timor [wikipedia.org] and West Papua [wikipedia.org] ). Having inside knowledge of the government's thoughts could prevent misteps and assist Australia in working with Indonesia using soft power.

History (Balibo Five [wikipedia.org] , live cattle exports [wikipedia.org] , suggests that Australia is not as skilled as we would like.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...