View Full Version : In support of those who can't speak out

18th Nov 2013, 22:17
The article below puts intelligence in it's proper historical context.
No doubt I'll be flamed - but still find the global outrage at the Snowden revelations tiresome.
Heres to the spooks, who have usually always toiled out of sight, been terrified, tortured, injured or killed (even the SIGINT geeks and nerds) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident) or achieved astonishing technical feats (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ivy_Bells) with no public ceremonies or unclassified recognition.

The news that Australia's electronic spy agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, has targeted Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's mobile phone won't come as a surprise to the many hundreds, indeed thousands, of Australian intelligence officers, diplomats, bureaucrats and politicians who are well aware of the extent of our espionage against our neighbours.
Why do we do it? Behind all the declarations of friendship and good neighbourliness by successive Australian governments, Canberra just doesn't trust Jakarta. We work closely with Indonesia, including in the fields of security and intelligence, but we don't trust them. We never have, and probably never will.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono address the media during a joint press conference at Istana Merdeka, in Jakarta in September.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono address the media during a joint press conference at Istana Merdeka, Jakarta in September. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
We find Indonesia's political system opaque, riddled with corruption and prone to nationalist outbursts. We don't regard Indonesia as true friends (certainly not in the way, for example, we view New Zealand or our other “Five Eyes” partners) and we don't rule out the possibility that someday, perhaps in the distant future, they may be a threat.
Our industrial-scale spying probably says a lot about Australia's deep-seated sense of separateness from Asia, and our continuing closeness to our English-speaking partners – Prime Minister Tony Abbott's beloved “Anglosphere.”
After all, more people read Australian intelligence reports in the United States and elsewhere in the “Five Eyes” intelligence community than in Australia.
These latest revelations of Australian espionage activity will no doubt cause some further diplomatic difficulty, but that will probably pass before too long.
It may not be cricket as Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa recently complained, but then we don't play cricket with Indonesia.
Instead we've spied on Jakarta for a very long time. Australia's embassy in Jakarta was the location of the first overseas station of the Australian Secret Intelligence Servic, established in 1954, and ASIS has always made Indonesia its top priority.
The unpublished diaries of one of Australia's early ambassador's to Indonesia, Sir Walter Crocker, also show the Defence Signals Directorate was routinely breaking Indonesia's diplomatic cyphers from the mid-1950s onward.
In the 1960s GCHQ helped Defence Signals crack the Swedish manufactured Hagelin cypher machines used by the Indonesian embassy in Canberra. In the 1970s the Defence Signals radio facility at Shoal Bay outside Darwin monitored Indonesian military communications and provided ample warning of Indonesia's intentions to invade East Timor.
In 1999, leaks of top secret Defence Intelligence reports on Indonesia and East Timor showed Australian intelligence still had extensive access to Indonesian military and civilian communications. The burning of East Timor's capital Dili by the Indonesian military and militias in September 1999 came as no surprise to Australian intelligence.
Every Australian prime minister since Robert Menzies has been thoroughly briefed on the extent of the Defence Signals Directorate's continuous penetration of Indonesian diplomatic, military and increasingly civilian communications.
A key to Prime Minister Paul Keating's diplomatic embrace of President Suharto was his direct knowledge of Suharto's thinking on regional diplomacy and relations with Australia.
Indeed, Keating was able to consolidate his amicable relationship with the dictator by sharing with him what Australian intelligence had learnt about the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. (ASIS had apparently successfully bugged the Malaysian Cabinet room.)
It is now clear that the Defence Signals Directorate has more recently provided Australian intelligence analysts and policy makers with an intimate picture of President Yudhoyono's political and personal relationships.
These intercept operations, part of a wider “Five Eyes” program codenamed “STATEROOM” appear to be conducted from a secret facility located at Australia's embassy in the Indonesia's capital.
These intelligence operations have reportedly contributed to the collection of information relating to terrorist threats, but as one former Australian intelligence officer recently told Fairfax Media “the main focus is political, diplomatic and economic intelligence".
"The huge growth of mobile phone networks has been a great boon and Jakarta's political elite are a loquacious bunch. Even when they think their own intelligence services are listening they just keep talking," he said.
The latest revelations will cause further diplomatic embarrassment, but Australia isn't going to stop spying.

18th Nov 2013, 23:47
What is the source for that cut and paste ?

19th Nov 2013, 00:05
I THINK it might be the Age newspaper. They had a headline with "we just don't trust them" in it.

I haven't read it yet but have a look on the front page and you'll see it.

The Age - Business, World & Breaking News | Melbourne, Australia (http://www.theage.com.au)

19th Nov 2013, 00:46
I came across this tell-all link ages ago. I guess every spook has got a finger in Indonesia's mineral wealth pie.

A Journal of Alternative News (http://www.newdawnmagazine.com/Articles/Mossad-Australia%20Connection.html)

Closer to home, that virginal engineer I mentioned in past posts who works for a Swedish multinational and operates a private phone tapping service disguised as a business process improvement consultancy, boasts on his website of having saved millions of dollars for Indonesian companies. Sad thing is he is quite corruptible and remains untouchable.

19th Nov 2013, 01:24
This is it.
Canberra doesn't trust Jakarta (http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/canberra-doesnt-trust-jakarta-20131118-2xr3i.html)

If I were US president and my SIGINT agency wasn't intertwined in the Internet like a parasitic vine, as well as tapping the phone of every friendly leader - as well as enemy - I'd be carpeting them in the Oval office and asking them why they weren't doing their job properly!
I have absolutely no doubt that Fort Meade tap Cameron, tapped Gillard, Rudd and are now tapping Abbott.
Admiral John Poindexter's vision of Total Information Awareness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Awareness_Office) is coming to pass.
Essentially he wanted to suck up every electronic emanation or signal right across the spectrum and fuse it for intel purposes.
And maybe that's a good thing.

19th Nov 2013, 02:19
Surely someone is marketing a smart phone with voice encryption. Or haven't any of our leaders and their cohorts learnt from the NoW hacking scandals. Used to be able to listen in on mobile calls with a scanner when mobiles first took off. So what's the big deal; they are still doing it. Any idiot who expects his mobile phone to be secure is ......

19th Nov 2013, 02:50
Alison - I think the issue is that NSA and GCHQ can crack anything other than a one time pad.
The techniques are shared between five eyes partners - and the senior agencies may help junior partners like the ASD crack the more difficult codes and cyphers.
So even more advanced mobile phone encryption presents a relatively easy challenge.

...and amusingly - given that this is an aviation forum - while the politicians huff and puff - the knuckleheads from both countries are just getting on with screaming around the Northern Territory. Tally ho.

Joint air force exercise dodges diplomatic flak
By Mark Di Stefano
Posted 3 hours 1 minute ago

Joint fighter jet exercise dodges diplomatic flak
PHOTO: The exercise involves eight Australian FA-18 and six Indonesian F-16 fighter jets flying over the Top End. (Department of Defence: AFP)
MAP: Darwin 0800
The diplomatic row over phone-tapping and alleged spying is not expected to affect a joint exercise involving RAAF and Indonesian fighter aircraft in the Northern Territory.

RAAF 75 Squadron Wing Commander Peter Mitchell says sharing knowledge with Indonesia's armed forces will be a feature of the week-long operation that starts in Darwin today.

He says the exercise involves eight Australian FA-18 and six Indonesian F-16 fighter jets flying over the Top End.

More than 200 defence force personnel from both countries are taking part in Exercise Elang AusIndo.

Wing Commander Mitchell says the tactical relationship with Indonesian armed forces is important.

"Indonesia is an extremely important partner to Australia," he said.

"This [exercise] is focused on the tactical level.

"It allows the Australian pilots and the Indonesian pilots to share their knowledge of airborne interception."

Wing Commander Mitchell stressed the friendly relationship between Australian and Indonesian pilots.

"We do not get into the policy and the diplomatic issues," he said.

"The relationship that we have is extremely cordial and friendly.

"We really enjoy working together."

The fighter jets will operate out of Darwin RAAF base and operational flying will be restricted to daylight hours

19th Nov 2013, 03:38
Tartare .... when you said "Knuckleheads" I thought that you were going to write about the Australian media and the likes of Mr.Carr, the bloke who was Foreign Minister for how long ?
Now the plonker is insisting that Abbott do something!

19th Nov 2013, 04:10

I laughed when I heard him say that on the news last night.


19th Nov 2013, 04:13
Knowing how competitive fighter pilots are - can you just imagine the piss-taking that is going on between 75 squadron and their Indo counterparts at the moment?
"No need to brief us on your role in the exercise today Wahid, we already know.":E

19th Nov 2013, 04:23
Lets hope they drop any bombs in the right place :O

19th Nov 2013, 04:26
I think the issue is that NSA and GCHQ can crack anything other than a one time pad. The techniques are shared between five eyes partners - and the senior agencies may help junior partners like the ASD crack the more difficult codes and cyphers. So even more advanced mobile phone encryption presents a relatively easy challenge. In IT, specifically internet comms, DDOS can take down some of the most sophisticated secure servers. Distributed Denial of Service entails so much information being needed to be process that it overwhelms a servers ability to cope.

The processors in smart phones are more than capable of encrypting voice to a quite sophisticated degree. If, using a similar philosophy to DDOS, wherein every conversation was encrypted, with a randomly changing encryption, then which spookes have the budget to pay for super-computer time to only get what - a shopping list?

If the leaders only turn on the encryption for secure communications, then it's a piece of wet to only de-encrypt those conversations. But if everything was encrypted?

19th Nov 2013, 05:05
Valid questions.
I suspect that's the point of traffic analysis and archiving conversations?
Those conversations that you can't decrypt in real time - you archive.
If you can tell who they've talked to, you can then cherry pick the conversations which you subsequently try to decrypt/crack.
Although not the same, I know that out of several hundred thousand Venona-era intercepts, the NSA and its predecessor have only been able to break about 3,000. But they still hold the rest.
I suspect most people (even diplomats) can't be arsed to implement effective comsec - or forget on ocassions.
Supercomputer time? Freely available to GCHQ and NSA I suspect - GCHQ admits to having the largest concentration of supercomputing power in Europe.
Who knows what the NSA has available - I'll bet there's a few entries missing right at the top of the Top 500 list.

Solid Rust Twotter
19th Nov 2013, 07:18
Lets hope they drop any bombs in the right place

I recall the RAAF losing a dummy AIM-9 from an F-18 a few years back when I was in Darwin. Some poor bugger had it go through his garage roof and trash his ute.:}

19th Nov 2013, 07:21
Yes, I remember that.

He now has a "dummy" AIM in the Landcruiser out the front of his workshop !

He was pissed because he says the RAAF didn't come up with much compo !!!

19th Nov 2013, 08:21
One of our Canberras in Germany dropped 4 X 25 pounders, smoke and flash, on a chicken farm in Nord Rhine Westphalia. The farmer was a bit peeved as he thought the RAF had stopped bombing him and his mates about 18 years previous.

P.s. I should have said they dropped by mistake .... I fink. :E

19th Nov 2013, 08:23
"smoke and flash"

So smoked and cooked the chicken all in one ;) :ok:

19th Nov 2013, 09:39

Darwin man jittery over Sparrow droppings - National - www.theage.com.au (http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/07/23/1090464858266.html)

19th Nov 2013, 12:31
I thought the AIM-7 was obsolete by 2004, but apparently not. We stopped supplying integrated circuits for it in the late 1980's, the orders then being for parts for AMRAAM.