ASPI suggests
22 Nov 2013|

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang YudhoyonoThe story of the week has been, of course, the deterioration of Australia–Indonesia diplomatic ties in the wake of a spying scandal concerning the Indonesian President. And while there’s been no shortage of news stories and commentary on this issue, here are a few angles worth noting.

While many have called for Prime Minister Abbott to apologise, former Indonesian intelligence chief Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono adds that we have to ‘forgive and forget’. In fact, he proposes Australia and Indonesia work together to investigate the allegations.

Hendropriyono has recently affirmed his admission in 2004 that Indonesian intelligence agencies had bugged Australian politicians. In fact, this admission contradicts claims by President SBY and Foreign Minister Natalegawa that Indonesia would never tap the phones of Australian politicians.

Lowy’s Dave McRae adds some useful context to President SBY’s decision to take to Twitter first:

Beyond his evident personal enjoyment of Twitter, the platform allows him to express his personality in a more genuine and human way. One of the reasons Indonesians cite for the popularity of current presidential frontrunner Joko Widodo is his easy-going man-of-the-people style compared to Yudhoyono’s stiff reliance on protocol.

Lastly on Indonesia, Kym Bergmann made an interesting observation on The Strategist this week on Indonesia’s SIGINT capabilities:

It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that Indonesia will quickly invest significant resources into this domain—and will look for a technology partner to rapidly increase domestic capabilities. It clearly won’t be Australia or the United States—so what will be the reaction if Indonesia turns to China for assistance?

Unsurprisingly, Indonesia announced it’s stepping up its army intelligence unit and espionage capabilities (see here and here).

Now to the rest of the world. The Financial Times has this piece on American alarm over deteriorating relations between Japan and South Korea.

Japan’s Shinzo Abe and Park Geun-hye have not held a formal meeting since the South Korean president was elected in February because of Seoul’s unhappiness at what it regards as Tokyo’s insufficient remorse regarding its colonial rule over its neighbour… “This has now emerged as the biggest strategic challenge to American interests in Asia,” said Kurt Campbell,

Also on Japan, The Economist suggests that when it comes to economic reform ‘…with a nearly unprecedented popular mandate and a majority in the Diet’s two chambers, Mr Abe should by now have achieved much more.’

Washington is still hard at work in the Middle East. Karzai is giving American hopes for a smooth transition to a lasting military alliance with Afghanistan the run-around. And though there is a good deal of optimism in the air, there are jitters as the P5+1 and Iran try to negotiate a deal over Tehran’s nuclear program.

ASPI’s International Cyber security Centre welcomes new International Fellows

The ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre is delighted to welcome two International Fellows to the centre, both of whom will assist in guiding the direction of the work of the ICPC, and contributing their unique perspectives on future approaches to international cyber policy and security issues including cyber crime, cyber espionage, Internet governance, the application of international law to cyberspace, and the challenges of engagement between the public and private sector on cyber policy and security.

Dr Jim Lewis is a senior fellow and director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC where he writes on technology, security, and the international economy. He has a wealth of US Government experience having worked for the Department of State and Commerce as a Foreign Service Officer and as a member of the Senior Executive Service. He is an internationally recognized expert on cyber security whose work includes the bestselling Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency (2008), which was praised by President Barack Obama in his first speech on cybersecurity, and was the rapporteur for the UN 2010 and 2012 Group of Government Experts on Information Security.

Samir Saran is vice president of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi. His latest published work examines ‘Privacy, Property and Sovereignty in the Cyber Age.’ He is the chair of CyFy 2013–India’s premiere international event on cyber security and cyber governance, bringing together government, industry, academia and civil society. He is also the editor of the CyFy journal. He has had a rich and diverse experience in the Indian private sector and was actively engaged with regulators and policy makers during the 1990s as India undertook economic reforms. In his last assignment, as Vice President at Reliance Industries, he was responsible for leading external communications and regulatory affairs across the group’s businesses. Samir has served as a member of the Government – Industry panel on Intellectual Property and Broadcasting regulation and is on the advisory committee of the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology.

Welcoming both International Fellows to the work of the ICPC, director Dr Tobias Feakin said: ‘The ICPC will benefit enormously in having both Jim and Samir as International Fellows.  Their combined experience of the myriad of issues surrounding the future of cyberspace, and how governments, the private sector and civil society adapt to this rapidly evolving technology and policy space are remarkable and we look forward to their involvement in all areas of our work.’’

Full biographies of both International Fellows can be found here.

Image courtesy of Twitter user @SBYudhoyono.