National

BIN promises no spying
at APEC Summit

Following revelations that the British intelligence services were spying on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the 2009 G20 summit in London, and that Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd benefitted from the practice, the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) pledged the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit would be free of such practices.

“We must give a guarantee that such practices will not happen here in Indonesia, especially during the APEC Summit in Bali,” Marciano Norman told reporters on Monday.

Marciano also said the Indonesian intelligence service would improve its work to protect the secrecy of important information.

Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald reported late last week that Rudd was the beneficiary of British spying on Yudhoyono at the 2009 London meeting.

Quoting Australian intelligence and foreign affairs sources, the newspaper said the Australian delegation received “excellent intelligence support”, including “much information” shared by the UK and the US.

The crucial information was said to have been used by Australia to support its diplomatic objectives, including the campaign to win a seat on the United Nations’ Security Council.

“Without intelligence support, overwhelmingly provided by US capabilities, we would not have won the seat,” a department of foreign affairs and trade officer said as quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald in its July 26 edition.

Last month, US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden made a disclosure that British and American intelligence had targeted foreign leaders and officials attending the 2009 G20 meetings in London.

Documents leaked by Snowden had revealed the British signals intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), had employed “ground-breaking intelligence capabilities’’ to intercept communications.

GCHQ’s intelligence collection capabilities at the summit included penetrating the security of delegates’ BlackBerry smartphones to monitor emails and phone calls, and setting up Internet cafes where an email interception program and key-logging software spied on delegates’ computer use.

Presidential spokesman for foreign affairs Teuku Faizasyah said Yudhoyono had been aware of the spying activities since last month, but he found it hard to corroborate the allegation.

“We have received information that the host conducted a wiretapping operation not only on us but on the majority of countries attending the summit,” Faizasyah said.

The spokesman added that the Indonesian government was only aware of the use of the information collected after reading reports from foreign newspapers.

Faizasyah said that the intelligence operation was unethical.

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