The clarifications of Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia, concerning the spying scandal are totally unnecessary and uncalled for. According to him spying was not done for “the detriment of other countries”, but why was it done at all. The fact of the matter is spying against an individual or an entity is done for explicitly the purpose the honored prime minister has the nerve to deny.
Spying is an immoral and an unethical practice which Abbott is unsuccessfully trying to justify. According to Abbott, the Australian sleuths shared confidential information about Indonesia with their American counter-parts. The truth is spying is detrimental to national and international individuals and in this case business interests. Abbott’s logic regarding this matter is hard to comprehend. Addressing national and international press Abbott while visiting the drought hit Brouke region said, “We use it for the benefit of our friends. We use it to uphold our values. We use it to protect our citizens and the citizens of other countries.”
This statement by the prime minister of Australia comes after the publication of a report by New York Times, in which Australia was implicated by former U.S. NSA analyst Edward Snowden of spying against an Indonesian telecommunication Telkomsel mobile network. The most damaging aspect of the whole sordid affair, according to the report published in the New York Times is that this information was shared with United States.
The opposition has come on hard on the Prime Minister Abbott, for this uncalled for revelation, terming it a violation of the sovereignty of Indonesia and a major cause of concern as it is bound to turn the cordial relations between the two states sour. According to the opposition leaders this revelation is sure to brew tensions with a friendly nation, no matter how the prime minister puts it, spying in the last analysis, is detrimental to relations between states, especially friendly states like Indonesia.
At the heart of this spying charge is the damaging information that the Australian spy agency found means of decrypting over two million highly confidential “master keys” of the Indonesian telecommunication giant.The Australian spies , according to the report, were listening in to sensitive conversations between Indonesian government officials and Mayer Brown, their United States based team of legal advisers concerning trade disputes.
This 2013 dated report exposes an extensive coordinated commercial espionage system between United States and its allies all around the world. The publication of this highly damaging report has strained ties between Australia and Indonesia. The timing of this report being made public is also crucial because Indonesia is already investigating the phone-tapping of its high officials including its president and his family members by Australian sleuths. The Australian ambassador in Jakarta has been summoned by the Indonesian foreign office to make clear the stance of its government over the recent incident.
The opposition is having a field day as the government of Prime Minister has been caught off-guard by the publication of this report by the New York Times. In such a scenario the clarifications offered by Abbott, who is trying to defend the activities of Australian spy agencies are completely unjustified, unnecessary and uncalled for.
By Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada