Snowden documents reveal Australia tapped Indonesian president's Nokia: Report

Snowden documents reveal Australia tapped Indonesian president's Nokia: Report

Summary: Indonesian president, his wife, vice president, and other senior members of the Indonesian government were the target of phone surveillance, documents show.


During 2009, the Defence Signals Directorate tracked the mobile phone of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for at least 15 days, the ABC is reporting.

Based on the latest leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the documents show that as well as the president, other members of his government that were targeted included Indonesia's First Lady, Vice President, former Vice President, Foreign Spokesman, Domestic Spokesman, State Secretary.

Another slide released shows the call data gained as result of the phone surveillance conducted during August 2009 on the President's Nokia handset.

Although many of the revelations from the Snowden documents have centred on the NSA, Australia has not escaped being caught up in the spying furore, with the Snowden documents previously showing that Australia was involved in using surveillance equipment in its embassies to gather intelligence

Last week, Indonesian hackers launched a denial of service attack on the website of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service in retaliation to the claims that Australia had used its Jakarta embassy for spying.

In an interview with 7.30 last week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that "all governments gather information" and that such revelations were "hardly a shock".

"We use the information that we gather for good, including to build a stronger relationship with Indonesia," said the Prime Minister.

"And one of the things that I've offered to do today in my discussions with the Indonesian Vice President is to elevate our level of information sharing, because I want the people of Indonesia to know that everything, everything that we do is to help Indonesia as well as to help Australia."

Australia is a member of the Five Eyes agreement that provides a framework for the sharing of intelligence amongst the United Kingdom, the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

The Indonesian president is not the first head of state to learn that their communications were tapped, last month German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a phone call to US president Barack Obama, to be assured that American secret services were not monitoring her mobile phone, after reports in Der Spiegel stated that the president had been personally informed of US spies tapping Merkel's phones.

Following the allegations of spying on the Chancellor's phone, it was learned that the phones of 35 world leaders were being monitored by the NSA.

Topics: Privacy, Government, Government AU, Security


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • I think you need to re-read what was published...

    There appears to be some incomplete paragraphs, or duplication, or (more likely) a draft mixed with the final document. Specifically the "Last week it was reported that Indonesian hackers..." and a couple of paragraphs later "Last week, Indonesian hackers launched ..."
    • Sub-editor accidentally the whole thing

      Excuse me while I go hunt them down.
      Chris Duckett
  • Can always trust the spooks to be the dumbest losers on the planet.

    Nothing dumber in the entire world than a government spook, paid perverts waging war on fellow citizens.
    Reality Bites