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Australia and NSA Gain Comprehensive Access To Indonesian Phone System

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the welcome-to-the-club dept.

Australia 133

An anonymous reader writes "Newly disclosed documents from former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden reveal that in Australia with the NSA has gained comprehensive access to Indonesian's national communications systems. They tapped into Indosat, Indonesia's domestic satellite telecommunications provider including data on Indonesian officials in various government ministries and obtained 1.8 million encrypted master keys, used to protect private communications, from Indonesia's Telkomsel cell phone network. Australia has been recently criticized for tapping the phone of the Indonesian President's wife and for the Royal Australian Navy accidental incursions into Indonesian territorial waters."

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alphabeta (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264097)

Is Soylent News ever going to launch?

Re:alphabeta (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264187)

Is Soylent News ever going to launch?

It can't launch fast enough. Slashdot is going downhill faster than ever before.

Re:alphabeta (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264347)

But it's people!!!! [soylentnews.org]

It just did! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264445)

Head over to http://www.soylentnews.org/ [soylentnews.org] now! Low UIDs still for the taking!

Re:It just did! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264469)

Wow, looks great. If Slashdot goes Beta, stick a fork in it. It's done. Pun intended!/p

Re:It just did! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264507)

Soylent News... is people!

Re:It just did! (-1, Offtopic)

mossweb (1868464) | about 7 months ago | (#46264529)

Think it's time to go say good bye to /. Bye and thanks for all the fish. Soylent is People is for me now. No hard feelings you were my first geek love. Please don't change; I love you just the way you were. I'll see you in a week and make sure your OK. Please don't call me unless your dieing. Thanks and bye. Mo

Re:It just did! (1, Informative)

HateCrime (776397) | about 7 months ago | (#46264537)

Slashdot is the community. Finally the community can have control. Soylentnews.org needs you!

Re:It just did! (0, Offtopic)

stderr_dk (902007) | about 7 months ago | (#46264581)

Don't forget pipedot [pipedot.org] .

Re:It just did! (0)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46265117)

A trig question to get an account? Why, that's not elitist and off-putting at all.

Re:It just did! (0)

stderr_dk (902007) | about 7 months ago | (#46265227)

A trig question to get an account? Why, that's not elitist and off-putting at all.

The question I got was VERY easy. Any decent spambot would have been able to answer it...

Re:It just did! (0)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46264715)

I still am redirected to the wiki page when I access Soylent News.

Re:It just did! (1, Informative)

mrcoolbp (928930) | about 7 months ago | (#46264739)

Growing pains, give it a few

Re:It just did! (0)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46264749)

Mmkay.

Re:It just did! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264779)

DNS records are propagating. Maybe try flushing your local dns cache.

www.soylentnews.org works for me.

Re:alphabeta (1, Interesting)

mrcoolbp (928930) | about 7 months ago | (#46264497)

just did, try soylentnews.org

Re:alphabeta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264815)

This entire thread is off-topic.

Everyone does it (0)

walshy007 (906710) | about 7 months ago | (#46264115)

Everyone does it... the main difference is they were caught.

Re:Everyone does it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264173)

It's like masturbation, except usually you stop for a minute or two when you get caught masturbating. The NSA will look you in the eye and keep doing what they're doing. Think about it...

You're masturbating and someone opens the door and catches you. Instead of acting embarred you simply say 'hi' and continues masturbating. You're asked what you're doing. As your hand continues to play with your genitals, you look them in the eye and simply say 'nothing wrong'. "you're masturbating" they say. You refuse to address this directly and instead say you'll 'look into the matter'. Your breathe increases as your hand never stops. You never break eye contact with the stunned person before you. They continue to question you. You continue to pleasure yourself as you deny acknowledgement that your going to give yourself an orgasm. But the really creepy part is the eye contact.

Re:Everyone does it (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 months ago | (#46264209)

You're masturbating and someone opens the door and catches you.

Yes, but in a general sense, there's nothing wrong with masturbating.

You need to expand your scenario:

"...at the office."
"...in your car."
"...while paying the pizza delivery guy."

Something like that.

Re:Everyone does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264573)

"Yes, but in a general sense, there's nothing wrong with masturbating."

You must work for the Masturbation Security Agency.

It is only a "problem" under very specific circumstances, otherwise, keep calm and carry on!

Re:Everyone does it (1)

Znork (31774) | about 7 months ago | (#46264611)

You're masturbating and someone opens the door and catches you.

Yes, but in a general sense, there's nothing wrong with masturbating.

"... while listening in to someone elses private conversation."
"... while looking at intercepted pictures."
"... while reading your XKEYSCORE results on 'steamy secret agent sex'"

More like that.

Re:Everyone does it (1)

jalet (36114) | about 7 months ago | (#46264211)

You made my day !

Re:Everyone does it (1)

JazzXP (770338) | about 7 months ago | (#46264263)

Damn, the time I wish I had mod points... This is brilliant!

Re:Everyone does it (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#46264543)

1. It's not masturbating. They are back-dooring EVERYBODY.
2. Obviously, they can only look you in the eye if there is a mirror present.

Re:Everyone does it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264215)

I wish people would stop making this statement.

a) It's just an opinion, and there's little other than anecdotal evidence to back this statement up. I'd also hazard that it's not universally true.
b) It implies this is the natural state of things and that it should be accepted.
c) It implies there aren't laws against this, which there are.

Re:Everyone does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264299)

I wish people would stop making this statement.

a) It's just an opinion, and there's little other than anecdotal evidence to back this statement up. I'd also hazard that it's not universally true.
b) It implies this is the natural state of things and that it should be accepted.
c) It implies there aren't laws against this, which there are.

Please show me ANY law which states that the NSA is not allowed to spy on FOREIGN countries.

Re:Everyone does it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264339)

Pretty sure Indonesian law forbids it. Guess that doesn't count.

Re:Everyone does it (2)

Nutria (679911) | about 7 months ago | (#46264391)

You're right: it doesn't count.

Re:Everyone does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264413)

This easily settles any remaining debate about the motives of Edward Snowden.
Disclosing the methods and/or capabilities of the United States to spy on any FOREIGN country is TREASON.

Re:Everyone does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264615)

This easily settles any remaining debate about the motives of Edward Snowden.
Disclosing the methods and/or capabilities of the United States to spy on any FOREIGN country is TREASON.

The US government has been betraying its own people for decades now.

Only an idiot ( like you ) feels any sense of allegiance to a government which
has done so much wrong for so long to its own people.

Plenty of US citizens both military and civilian see the US government for what it
is, and they are not going to be fooled by the false patriotism of scum like you.

Re:Everyone does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264723)

This easily settles any remaining debate about the motives of Edward Snowden.
Disclosing the methods and/or capabilities of the United States to spy on any FOREIGN country is TREASON.

They must have redacted that section of the US Constitution where Treason is defined, because I don't see that listed as one of the criteria.

Re: Everyone does it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265149)

Ask Nathan Hale his opinion of spies.
Proof NSA spies on US Citizens = wistle blower.
Methods used to spy on other countries and a list of wich ones = Treason.
The first does no excuse the second.

Re:Everyone does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264269)

No, the difference is that even with milspec GPS accurate to 1m they at first claimed they didn't do it and then claimed it was an accident.

Re:Everyone does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264273)

"Everyone does it... "

Ahh yes, the cry of the cheater. Everyone else does it, therefore it's fine when I do it. Ignoring the fact that not everyone else does do it.

Re:Everyone does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264737)

Yup, kind of reminds me of the doping scandal that has plagues cycling....

Re:Everyone does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264329)

Everyone does it... the main difference is they were caught.

That kind of misses the point. The riskier the hack, the bigger the payoff. The risk of getting caught is actually an important element which moderates just how much hacking is going to take place because of the potential political fallout. I think the Aus government thought they could hack indiscriminately with impunity, and it's catching up with them.

Re:Everyone does it (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#46264827)

"everyone" smokes dope too.

still they put people in the slammer for 30 years for doing it 3 times at some places.

look man, they're breaking the law and they made contracts that they wouldn't do it. you keep up with this shit and no country will give a shit about usa's (or australias) extradition requests and will just print them out to wipe their asses with them while some finance/hack/whatever crooks keep on scamming americans for their cash.

Re:Everyone does it (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#46264883)

Re Everyone does it. The real question is who has Australian telco keys :) Its the same international NSA/FBI ready expensive, crypto junk rolled out at a national exchange level for digital wiretaps, cell tracking, billing, internet logging .... That is why the Snowden news is so useful - nothing works as sold and many nations have their "unique" secure keys in the hands of other nations, random contractors, ex staff and unexpected 'others'.
Thanks to Snowden a generation of crypto experts, designers and telco staff around the world now have insight into the reality of basic key handling, use and the generational efforts they wasted on 'national' encryption on their own networks.
A lot of nations also have to share networks between their own mil, gov and basic consumer grade telco networks.
So yes "Everyone does it." and after Snowden they will work hard on doing their crypto and networking a bit better.

John Perkins (1)

aslashdotaccount (539214) | about 7 months ago | (#46264147)

I'm reminded of the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman", particularly since Indonesia has been brought up. Listening in on dialogues relating to trade disputes has capitalism written all over it. What's the bet that the US administration has less control over its intelligence machinations than the capitalists (wanted to say oligarchy...)?

Re:John Perkins (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46264519)

So you think that the Indonesians don't do that sort of thing? Or the Chinese (communists)? Or the Soviets back in the day? LOL .....

Re:John Perkins (1)

aslashdotaccount (539214) | about 7 months ago | (#46264545)

Did I imply that? I know their intelligence apparatuses are even less ethical than the US, and those are the countries where their oligarchies basically own the administrations.

Also, has the attempt at ridiculing someone with an 'LOL' ever really helped?

Re:John Perkins (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 7 months ago | (#46264633)

So you think that the Indonesians don't do that sort of thing? Or the Chinese (communists)? Or the Soviets back in the day? LOL .....

Pissing context again? Is it indeed desirable to have NSA winning the competition with the NKVD of the older days?
It becomes boring... com'on, what parents you have that didn't teach you this is not a valid justification for wrong-doings.

Re:John Perkins (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46264759)

You seem to have missed the context. Note this statement that I was responding to:

Listening in on dialogues relating to trade disputes has capitalism written all over it.

Pretty much every major country is going to try to gather intelligence on matters important to it. Do you deny that?

Re:John Perkins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264919)

You're a real piece of shit, you know that?

Re:John Perkins (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 7 months ago | (#46265141)

You seem to have missed the context. Note this statement that I was responding to:

Listening in on dialogues relating to trade disputes has capitalism written all over it.

Two can be picky about the context. The original context:

What's the bet that the US administration has less control over its intelligence machinations than the capitalists (wanted to say oligarchy...)?

Regarding your:

Pretty much every major country is going to try to gather intelligence on matters important to it. Do you deny that?

What could be so important for a major and supposedly democratic country to disregard the liberties of all and any person in this world, their own citizens included?
What could be so important that the spying is extended to the officials of another country they are not at war with and neither made a threat with war ?

I don't know what I dislike the most:
* the idea that US administration doesn't have enough control over NSA; or
* the idea the US administration is complicit... nay, scratch that... is deliberately asking NSA to do all these things.

Re:John Perkins (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 7 months ago | (#46264999)

Goodbye, Cold Fjord.

While your incessant shilling, political doublespeak, out-of-context quoting, thread-diluting gibberish and lack of applicable morality have been interesting...I cannot say, with any grain of truth, that I will miss you.

From the ashes of Slashdot rises http://soylentnews.org/ [soylentnews.org] ....News BY the People, FOR the People.

Re:John Perkins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265313)

1) They didn't get caught their pants down contrary to the incompetent NSA.
2) They're smart enough to devote their resources on spying important targets instead of using them to spy on random joes.
3) At least these countries aren't hypocrites and don't pretend to be forces of universal good.

It's about time (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264235)

I was wondering when we would start seeing more coverage of the NSA here.

Such a waste of money.. (2)

dubist (2893961) | about 7 months ago | (#46264311)

I didn't mind the odd general discussion on how they compromised Google etc but an awful lot of money has now just gone down the tube for no useful purpose except perhaps to satisfy a Gen-Y's sudden burst of conscience.

Slashdot grammar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264327)

Slashdot grammar has gone to the dogs. "Edward Snowden reveal that IN Australia with the NSA has gained comprehensive access to Indonesian's national communications systems" makes no sense.

Most stories posted by "samzenpus" have grammar and punctuation issues.

Re:Slashdot grammar (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#46264733)

It really depends where the telco loops are, taps and it all is been 100% split down to Australia and its NSA shared sites vs some best effort within Asia that gets 'most'.

In other words - they were doing their job (2, Interesting)

Sun (104778) | about 7 months ago | (#46264363)

Seriously. These are spy organizations. And here they are - spying. On foreign countries, no less. What were they thinking?

The Snowden leaks started out with things the public actually needed to know. The NSA spying on Americans is a gross overstep of the organization's charter. Spying on friendly nation's leaders is an embarrassment. This, however, seems to me like them doing their job.

At first, I thought that labeling Snowden as a spy was an overreaction. The US government trying to silence a whistle blower. However, were I a juror in a trial in which he released just this document, I'd convict.

Anyone who disagrees is kindly requested to answer two simple questions:
1. What should the NSA do?
2. Assuming this is not this, how can a country maintain military intelligence without doing this?

Shachar

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (5, Insightful)

clockwise_music (594832) | about 7 months ago | (#46264471)

Maybe from an American point of view this isn't such a story. But I can assure you from an Australian and Indonesian point of view this is going to be massive.

The Australian government has already received heaps of flak about phone tapping the Indonesian president's wife which was a very big deal. Indonesia were not happy. The president even took the unprecedented step of tweeting his displeasure. Then the Australian government decided it was a good idea to start towing asylum seeker boats back to Indonesia - they claimed the policy was to "turn the boats back" - turns out they've been actually towing them and going straight into Indonesian waters with our war boats. Stupid, stupid. Plus they "accidentally" did this 5 times.

And only two days ago some Aussie girl was just released early after having been locked away in an Indonesian prison for 10 years. This will have raised the Indonesians ire too. This will just give them another excuse.

In 2 hours there will be another spluttering prime minister on the TV trying to put this fire out claiming that it's nothing new, "all's fair in love and war" etc etc, but it really depends on how the Indonesians react - if the headline is "Aussie's listening to ALL our phone calls, 1.8 million keys stolen, collaborating with the US", the people will react and protest, the government will look weak in front of their people, and they will have to react.

I think there's going to be a bit of a storm about this one.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264645)

What are they going to do? Cry?

The only way this looks bad (speaking as an Australian) is to self righteous freedom lovers who like to live in some imaginary world where everyone is your best friend.

Fun fact, knowledge is power - and when you get back to reality you'll realize that the only way this would be a big deal is if ASIO weren't gathering any intelligence.

The absolute (and almost entirely unlikely) worst case scenario is Indonesia 'decare war' - which wouldn't last long at all, considering it's a completely aggressive stance to take on something everyone does (including Indonesia themselves) - they'd find themselves with more enemies than friends.

This is just press spinning to get ratings by targeting your false sense of morality, move on.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264691)

Agreed.

Everyone spies. It's unfortunate Australia was outed by links with the USA's poor intelligence security (Snowden's leaks), but the fact is everyone spies - and anyone who isn't is naive and powerless.

Indonesia would be similarly naive to react in any way what so ever. Any drastic 'reaction' against Australia is simply going to result in loss of aid from Australia themselves (who offer quite a lot of assistance), potentially from the UN, and lastly from Australia's allies depending on severity.

This is, as stated, press spinning at it's finest. The sad part is enough people have taken the troll bait that this has actually become news...

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (2)

Sun (104778) | about 7 months ago | (#46264685)

I think you are thinking about the wrong question. The question is not whether the publication is going to cause trouble. Of course it is. The question is whether it is legitimate for the spying to have taken place in the first place.

If it is, then Snowden releasing this information is betrayal, and the shit storm that will (likely) happen now is just one good reason to keep this a secret.

My point was that countries are forming spy organizations. I know very few people who claim those organizations are completely unnecessary. And yet, assuming you don't live in a country with clear enemies (which, living in Israel, I actually do), you have to wonder, who are those organizations spying on? If it's not okay to spy on your own citizens (and it's not), and not okay to spy on your close allies (which it's probably not), and not okay to spy on other countries (which, implied by this piece of news, is also not), then who's left?

Shachar

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264795)

Next you're going to be saying the Holocaust was bad only because it got found out, and that genocide is a legitimate activity for a fascist regime to engage in.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265545)

Are you fucking high?

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264725)

Shachar is not saying it's 'not a story', he's saying that these kind of leaks are more like criminal activity by Snowden. Which is quite true.

This is what a spy would do, release and reveal government spying operations against other non allied nations.

It's pretty scary what he's doing now, how he thinks he might get some kind of clemency is beyond me.

I wonder if his plan was to go to Russia all along... Is it not completely out of the question? What's his lifestyle now? Whats his accommodation in Russia now?

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (1)

mrcoolbp (928930) | about 7 months ago | (#46264643)

fuck beta!!!

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (1)

aslashdotaccount (539214) | about 7 months ago | (#46264681)

Agreed, Snowden should have sought other avenues of seeking justice for the violation of civil rights. In fact, if I were him, I'd actually have stayed in the US whilst I published all the documents (not in batches but in one go). But I would have done so only if civil rights (pertaining to the US only) and/or human rights (pertaining to the world as a whole) were at stake.

The fact that Snowden is ranting about the US spying on trade negotiations or conversations of global political big-shots clearly a lack of interest in civil or human rights. It suggests the involvement of a sinister partner hellbent on discrediting and destabilizing the US. Showden's commitment to such a cause, being a US citizen, indicates that he is a mentally unbalanced egomaniac looking to establish a legacy the quick and easy way (doesn't help that news agencies all over the world are motivating this type of behaviour, just so they can sell more advertising space). Most of what's being leaked by Snowden has nothing to do with the protection of civil rights. What civil rights violations his leaks do expose are already being recognised by NSA and other intelligence agencies and there are reform programs (or at least the initiatives of some) under way (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/17/obama-nsa-reforms-end-storage-americans-call-data).

In answer to question 1, NSA and their partner agencies should just keep on doing what they do. There have been plenty of leaks in the past about clandestine operations of intelligence agencies, who have later gone on to re-establish their integrity. This is not much different, other than the fact that we have something to rant about in these forums :).

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 months ago | (#46264707)

The Snowden leaks started out with things the public actually needed to know. The NSA spying on Americans is a gross overstep of the organization's charter. Spying on friendly nation's leaders is an embarrassment. This, however, seems to me like them doing their job.

Here's the actual article being quoted from
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/us/eavesdropping-ensnared-american-law-firm.html [nytimes.com]

What's interesting is that the center piece of this /. summary was a throwaway paragraph at the end of a long article.
It added nothing at all to the story.

It's curious how The Guardian and Glenn Greenwald aren't writing the stories that people complain about as disclosing too much.
Instead it's the NY Times and Laura Poitras, Snowden's other confidant.

It seems like there are different agendas at play here and the NY Times is willing to disclose sources and methods where others are not.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265203)

Throw away to the New York Times perhaps you imperialist pig, but of great relevance to the countries named.

Goose, Meet Gander. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264847)

Why not spy on your own citizens? Why not on "friendlies"? Who made up the line? Who decides these things? In the US it is supposed to be We The People. Yeah, right.

Spying is evil. Perhaps a necessary evil. However, giving a monopoly on spying to the government, especially with runaway "secrecy" and classification of everything under the sun is absurd.

If spying is OK for some, then it has to be OK for all. If the NSA can spy, so can corporations, so can news agencies, so can reporters, so can individuals, so can Snowden. So there is no crime here, just the NSA was not as good at spying (or counter-spying) as ONE PERSON!

If only certain special, super-secret orgs can have the permission to spy, then I want them to be purer than the virgin. We already see from revelations that they are nowhere close (like NSA operative spying on love interests.) I want them to be smarter than the average spy. Whoops, one Snowden shows the NSA are basically incompetent, corrupt buffoons. You want these people (only) spying for the whole country? Why?

I want to know everything government and country does. Might have to settle for 99.99%. Otherwise democracy is inoperative.

Except right now we only know 75%, or 50%, or maybe 25%. We don't know how much we don't know. In this state there is no democracy. Domestic enemies become more dangerous than foreign. Fish rots from the head.

No matter how you slice it, Snowden is a hero, whether he planned to be one or is just a craven and corrupt attention seeker.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (5, Insightful)

Sabriel (134364) | about 7 months ago | (#46264901)

You've missed the point. Pull your focus back from the NSA. Snowden isn't just whistleblowing on them, he's whistleblowing on the rot, and the rot extends to the entire Federal Government and it's fellow international governments, including mine.

I don't have a problem with intelligence agencies spying. That's what they're for. What I _do_ have a problem with is _governments_ pretending that their intelligence agencies never spy on anyone except evil villains, when that's quite frankly ludicrous.

The difference, if you think about it, is rather profound. Think about where this kind of "oh we'd never spy on our allies (except when we do)" bullshit leads - a lack of proper checks and balances, a lack of oversight in favour of rubberstamping, etc.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264911)

Yes, Slashdot has gotten lazy and Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian have an agenda they are pushing for some reason. After what has been going on with gay rights in the US, I would think Glenn would be happy things are changing in the right way. But, nope. He would rather help Snowden and smear the administration for going along with the spying and making foreign relations a nightmare. Yes, the NSA did some things that they probably shouldn't have, but it doesn't mean that they have to expose everything to push their civil libertarian viewpoint, hurt the economy, and make us less safe. Not te mention waste a lot of time.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 7 months ago | (#46265223)

Hurt the economy?

The NSA hurt the economy by leaning on american companies to provide backdoors... Considering the scale, had this not been leaked by snowden it would have been leaked by someone else sooner or later. You now have a situation where people no longer trust american companies, and will work hard to break free of any dependence on them.
They hurt the economy by spying on trading partners and allies.

Make us less safe?

Less safe from who? Most terrorist groups hate the government, and they only generally hate the people because they think the people have some kind of say over the government... As they come to realise that the people dislike the government as much as they do it may actually make the average guy on the street *more* safe as he is no longer a target.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265093)

Food for thought: fuck the US and it's corrupt government. Saying that because they unleashed an out of control spy agency that they oughta be doing just that is ludicrous and ignores that there's no other reason for that to be happening if not to shaft the country being spied on in the long run.

As you said yourself: it's spying on Americans too. If you think you'll somehow reason with them and they'll go "oh ok, we'll go back to spying on foreigners only", I got no words for how naive you are. Not you specifically, but you know what I mean.

This adds to ever growing pile of evidence that shows you have an agency acting maliciously towards other nations for commercial advantage (look up the industrial espionage revelations), which sets real people back. Were Indonesia breaking piracy laws or something else Hollywood doesn't like, there'd be talk about putting them on watchlists.

You could at least disapprove that on grounds of severe hypocrisy.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265161)

1) Nothing.
2) Military intelligence is an oxymoron. Give them another playstation and some expensive toys.

The facts are, Australia may have got lots of keys and stuff, but our labor rates in analysing anything is just too high - it probably just went to bit bucket or disk and written over shorty afterwards. Only if something bad happened - then they would have to ask for big brothers help. It is not stated how long the keys remain active - they probably have a short life. Or they could have been decoys, or electronic static.Some people used to watch those channels too.

The boats issues has tied up our security with an processed backlog, indicating all bark and no bite. Indonesia know they have won this round, tying up resources. Indonesia's population is 250 million plus, negligible chance of finding a needle in that lot, even if the claim is true, and this is not some disinformation campaign.

As for boats intruding - well sometimes they have to go around coral reefs , uncharted areas, and sandbars to avoid getting 'stuck' which is a perfectly reasonable thing. Mountain out a of molehill sums it up. Indonesia only has a few issues - Volcanic eruptions and dust, earthquakes and tsunamis, and goading Australia. They can't do anything about 1 and 2, but excel at 3.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265281)

2. Assuming this is not this, how can a country maintain military intelligence without doing this? - I beleive most of them would be busniess intelligence rather then military.

If this was a russian guy and russia was hell bent of prosecuting him would you still be against him?

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (3, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 7 months ago | (#46265341)

Seriously. These are spy organizations. And here they are - spying. On foreign countries, no less. What were they thinking?

The Snowden leaks started out with things the public actually needed to know. The NSA spying on Americans is a gross overstep of the organization's charter. Spying on friendly nation's leaders is an embarrassment. This, however, seems to me like them doing their job.

At first, I thought that labeling Snowden as a spy was an overreaction. The US government trying to silence a whistle blower. However, were I a juror in a trial in which he released just this document, I'd convict.

Anyone who disagrees is kindly requested to answer two simple questions:
1. What should the NSA do?
2. Assuming this is not this, how can a country maintain military intelligence without doing this?

Shachar

There is the subtle way to do things and then there is the really clumsy and idiotic way to do them. I mean I can see how it is legitimate for the USA and Australia to spy on Indonesia with a bit more intensity than their close allies. However, is it really worth it to take the spying to a level that the target nation might construe as bordering on an act of war? What if the shit hits the fan in the region and a formerly cooperative Indonesia is so pissed off over this that they have moved into the Chinese camp? Would this spying still be worth it? Is it worth while to tap the telephones of the leaders of your closest allies (an operation that the NSA it self has admitted resulting in pretty much ZERO usable intelligence?) and risk spoiling a set of relationship that has been of vital strategic and economic importance to the USA since the end of WWII? Is the role of the NSA really to wreck every diplomatic relationship the USA has? How paranoid is the US leadership? Why isn't it enough for them to keep spying on their closest allies sufficient for the US leadership to have a good idea of what their closest allies are doing? Why must US intelligence operations be at a level that seems aimed at knowing what kind of underwear every single citizen of these nations is wearing down to the size, brand and color? *** WARNING: sarcasm ahead *** I think the USA can rest assured that none of its NATO allies is planning a sneak nuclear attack on the USA and we aren't secretly funding Al Quaeda either and if the US leadership needs to tap the telephones of Angela Merkel and François Hollande to discover that, then the US leadership need psychological help.

I am not a US citizen, I am however a citizen of a NATO allied nation and I value our strategic and economic relationship with the USA and from my point of view Snowden's revelations about the near Orwellian level of US spying on it's closest allies is a positive thing. This is especially true if Snowden's revelations result in the EU internet infrastructure being restructured so as to minimize the amount of traffic that goes through locations where the USA can intercept it because it may help to prevent the relationship between us Europeans and the USA from deteriorating even further despite the best efforts of the US security services to sabotage it with their excessive paranoia.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about 7 months ago | (#46265371)

2. Assuming this is not this, how can a country maintain military intelligence without doing this?

Shachar

Oh, yes. That's un-possible. Poor US Army, what it could do if missing the critical information about the Indonesian trade of shrimp and cloves cigarettes [sbs.com.au] ?

The law firm was advising Indonesia in relation to trade disputes with the US over the export of shrimp and clove cigarettes. In the latter case the World Trade Organization ruled the United States had violated international trade laws.

According to the classified document, Australian intelligence agents covertly monitored talks between Indonesian officials and the law firm, and offered to share the information obtained with America’s National Security Agency (NSA).

Foreign Minister Natalegawa admitted on Monday that he was perplexed by the claims, the latest in a string of damming revelations about the extent of Australia’s espionage activities in the region.

"I find that a bit mind-boggling and a bit difficult how I can connect or reconcile discussion about shrimps and how it impacts on Australia’s security,” Natalegawa told reporters at a joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is on a two-day visit to Jakarta.

Re:In other words - they were doing their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265419)

This, however, seems to me like them doing their job.

Their job is to spy on enemies. Not friends and not neutrals. Your automatic assumption that spying on everyone is the same as spying on enemies is just sad. You do realize that spying this is an act of aggression? An act of war? It's a new cold war and the resulting arms race is probably going to lead to hot wars.

Think of this at an individual level. Would you be pissed off if somebody you thought was a friend or neutral (acquaintance or stranger) trespassed in your house without permission? Read all your private messages? I certainly would. And nations are the same - a person just being part of a group (nation in this case) doesn't give them an ethical get out of jail free card.

Turnabout is fair play (1, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46264403)

Phone tapping national leaders 'normal', says former Indonesian spy chief [smh.com.au]

Indonesia's former top spy master has accused his own President of exaggerating the problem of phone tapping, saying attempts by intelligence agencies to snoop on national leaders were "normal".

And former spy agency chief Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono has also punctured claims by his Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa that Indonesia would never tap the phones of Australian politicians, insisting it was a routine part of "black intelligence". .....

Mr Hendropriyono, the head of Badan Intelijen Negara (BIN) until 2004, has been thrust into the Australian political debate because of a TV interview he gave in 2004, in which he admitted to bugging Australian politicians. .....

In an interview with Fairfax Media, the former Indonesian army general has now amplified his 2004 comments, saying of Australia's attempts to listen to the conversations of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the first lady and their confidantes: "For intelligence, it's normal."

He added that Indonesia not only had the capacity to tap the phones of Australians, but that intelligence agencies also had a responsibility to try it, "friend or foe". .....

Asked if Indonesia could listen to Mr Abbott's phone, he said: "We have the ability to tap and to counter-tap". However, he also suggested that Australian counterintelligence would prevent this happening.

Mr Hendropriyono said human intelligence — what he called "white intelligence" — was standard practice in embassies worldwide, but that phone tapping was "the most reliable" way to confirm information gathered.

"Tapping and counter-tapping is quite common in the intelligence life, because it is one of their primary jobs," he said. .....

"Intelligence is judged like in sport, two boxers fighting in the ring. They punch and they counter-punch... They attack and they defend themselves, but it is in the ring — the ring of intelligence. If the officials, in this case politicians, interfere in the case, that is wrong. That is very wrong."

Now that it is in the political arena, the politicians have overreacted, he said. ....

"I hope that both our leaders, SBY as well as Tony Abbott should not be too emotional... Please do not deteriorate [the relationship] because of a very small thing. This is a very technical thing."

Yes another US ally screwed by a Snowden leak. Can we assume at this point that we'll be hearing nothing about China, Russia, or Iran? Remember how Snowden claimed that he was an expert about Chinese activities and taught classes on them? I wonder what happened to that material?

Re:Turnabout is fair play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264661)

No one here respects what you write.

You are a joke. Your claims serve as a way to determine
the truth, because essentially everything you write is a goddamned lie, so the truth can be found by inverting what you claim.

And you are the only one who doesn't realize it.

captcha = lackey

As in : ColdFjord is a government lackey sent to Slashdot to engage in dissemination of propaganda.

Re:Turnabout is fair play (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46264777)

Here on planet earth we have institutions called "newspapers." They report on useful or important information. I have quoted from one of them, a major one in its own country. Feel free to disregard the information at your peril, intelligent people are unlikely to do so.

Your opinion of me is of essentially no consequence to me. You might as well not waste your time typing such nonsense. That sort of thing often provides me with a chuckle.

Those things are covered elsewhere (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46264899)

Can we assume at this point that we'll be hearing nothing about China, Russia, or Iran?

There's some pretty good books available about similar things, and worse, in those places. It went as far as a journalist that had been a vocal critic of Putin being murdered on Putin's birthday, and it being very obvious that it was intended to be a present.
So in other words just take it as read that we know that bad things happen in other places.

Re:Turnabout is fair play (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#46264987)

Whats interesting about the collection efforts of China, Russia, or Iran cold? They can collect what all in their own country, have some fancy satellites, neat spy ships, embassies with limited space and known staff, neat science cover stories and lots and lots of 'classic' expensive well placed generations of human spies.
As for the US ally screwed by a Snowden leak:
Indonesia fully understood the "Martin and Mitchell defection" news in 1960
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]
Indonesia knew they had crypto issues in 1966 via the US, UK and Australia via aspects of Operation Claret http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O... [wikipedia.org]
In 2006 news about the NZ 1985/86 GCSB Annual Report made its way the press via old files - raw traffic from GCHQ/NSA sources would have been a hint.
Nothing really new outside the crypto keys been junk :)

Re:Turnabout is fair play (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 7 months ago | (#46265411)

"Intelligence is judged like in sport, two boxers fighting in the ring. They punch and they counter-punch... They attack and they defend themselves, but it is in the ring — the ring of intelligence. If the officials, in this case politicians, interfere in the case, that is wrong. That is very wrong."

Now that it is in the political arena, the politicians have overreacted, he said. ....

"I hope that both our leaders, SBY as well as Tony Abbott should not be too emotional... Please do not deteriorate [the relationship] because of a very small thing. This is a very technical thing."

Translation "spooks to govt: Give us your money and keep your dirty noses out of our game: it's none of your business, you see... it's too technical for you to even understand something".
The only thing that wasn't explicitly said is "... or else".

And this should function as a justification for what NSA is doing? Is it meant to offer me (a citizen which pays taxes these damn'd spooks live on) assurances of a responsible behavior consistent with respect of human rights and liberties?
Pray tell, exactly how the info about the Indonesian shrimp and clove cigarettes trade [sbs.com.au] is something that justifies the violation of lawyer-client confidentiality?

Psst (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264423)

Don't like beta? Want a Slashdot without the Dice? Try

http://soylentnews.org/

Not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264459)

I'm Australian and the last thing we need right now is to piss off the Indonesians further. I kinda wish these documents were kept under wraps forever to be honest. Besides, isn't that what intelligence services are supposed to do? Spy on foreign countries, particularly those who are of immediate interest (which in Australia's case is definitely Indonesia)? So the NSA helped in tapping Indonesia's phones, so what? Better than tapping our own citizens phones, right?

If you really have a problem with this, you're basically admitting that you don't like how countries spy on each other. But it's a necessary part of running a country, no matter how dirty the concept sounds. It's life... and leaks like this just introduce politics that we simply don't need. Should've kept it buried as it does NOTHING to help anyone. Some secrets should stay hidden.

(posting anon due to employer)

Re:Not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264541)

I'm Australian and ...

Your opinion doesn't matter.

You live in a police state.

Shut the fuck up and get back to whatever it is you do in your miserable prole life.

Re:Not good (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46264599)

His opinion is useful, yours, not so much.

Re:Not good (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#46264769)

This in nothing new Indonesia has had a full understudying of Australian real time mil communications tracking, decrypting and translation thanks to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1... [wikipedia.org]
Once you hear about you nations radio traffic on another countries news, you know their skills.

Re:Not good (1)

Sabriel (134364) | about 7 months ago | (#46265041)

Or, you know, politicians could just admit outright that intelligence agencies spy on friend and foe alike, and that there are good reasons for it, rather than trying to pull "emperor's new clothes" and having it bite them.

Re:Not good (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 7 months ago | (#46265429)

I'm Australian and the last thing we need right now is to piss off the Indonesians further. I kinda wish these documents were kept under wraps forever to be honest.

I'm Australian and I kinda wished that the Aussie spooks wouldn't be so damned interested about Indonesian shrimp trade [sbs.com.au] .: call me stupid, but I believe knowing this is not making Australia more secure.

Act of war? (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 7 months ago | (#46264473)

If it isn't yet considered an act of war, it's soon going to be. Wait for it. Shit's about to get interesting.

Re:Act of war? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46264631)

If it isn't yet considered an act of war, it's soon going to be. Wait for it. Shit's about to get interesting.

These kind of things are rarely considered acts of war.

If an Australian navy warship entering Indonesian waters without the knowledge or permission of the Indonesian government wont start a shooting war, this definitely wont.

Besides the Indonesians wont risk a war with Oz, they'll talk tough but they need the US more than the US needs them. Also any military action would only end in stalemate, Australia doesn't have the forces to invade Indonesia and Indonesia doesn't have the ships to go toe to toe with the Royal Australian Navy (our 6 vacuum cleaner based Submarines and 18 odd frigates).

Soylent News (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264501)

The NSA doesn't monitor SoylentNews.org...

Re:Soylent News (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264575)

"SoylentNews.org" is a honeytrap.

Re:Soylent News (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46264741)

I don't see why they couldn't monitor Soylent News. There seems to not be even HTTPS support.

"comprehensive access" (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 7 months ago | (#46264593)

Indonesia's phone system is fairly meh in the first place. This isn't something terribly difficult to achieve.

Re:"comprehensive access" (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#46264849)

Most nations invite in and have a network build, from copper to optical to wireless, backhaul and satellite over many years.
Digital exchanges, towers, trunk lines, crypto all gets planned and 'dropped' in.
What most of Asia always knew is that their expensive equipment was always Echelon ready and evolved in an 'open' way for Australia and NSA to enjoy over generations of upgrades and expansion.
All the codes, splitting, locations are all mapped by Australia and updated.
The only way be secure from this total information tap point is to understand crypto history.
The Soviet Union faced the same issues and reverted back to one time pads with less 'chat' on their vital trunk lines (1950's) for a short time.
The problem is you cannot run a country on time pads and new ways are bought in and fail basic crypto tests in the real world.
Most nations seem to understand Echelon and later efforts ... enjoying same fun knowing if done right other nations listening in will fall for any well crafted gossip long term.
The trick was not in the NSA and Australia getting all data from Asia - the real magic was Australia crafted its own way in so if the NSA ever locks Australia out ("again") - Australia still has Asia decoded on its own terms. Australia put more effort in from the 1960's than they did for their support for their own Vietnam efforts.
Indonesian officials understood all this back in the 1960's via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O... [wikipedia.org]

Re:"comprehensive access" (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 7 months ago | (#46265435)

Indonesia's phone system is fairly meh in the first place. This isn't something terribly difficult to achieve.

Only because something is possible or even easy doesn't necessarily imply one should do it.

The world should probably ban Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265155)

GTFO.

American Law Firm? (1)

pegacat (89763) | about 7 months ago | (#46265421)

Folks seem to be missing the point that this involved tapping an American law firm, apparently in order to gain an edge during trade negotiations? (And similar stuff happening during recent climate negotiations?)

That kinda muddies the water I think; people spying on other people for national security is one thing, but when it spills over into the commercial world and UN politics then it's no longer security, but obtaining an advantage by underhand means.

Also, I'm curious - doesn't US law say something about not spying on americans? And aren't even lawyers technically citizens?

I guess as an aussie if the US wants to outsource that sort of thing to us I don't have a huge problem with it, but I would have thought more US folks would be upset... :-)

Fb (1)

isorox (205688) | about 7 months ago | (#46265433)

I bet they got comprehensive access to beta and ran away screaming!

This brings up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46265475)

... obtained 1.8 million encrypted master keys ...

The USA/CAN/AUS/NZ/UK spying on each other's citizens for their Freedom Buddies is a mutual deal. Australia and buddies spying on a different sort of ally probably isn't a mutual benefit. The question becomes: Should those countries use their Sig-int advantage to conduct essentially cyber warfare against peaceful countries and less valuable allies? This answer is less clear because all countries conduct spying activities.

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