LOCAL

Australia sites hacked amid spy row

Kumudu Jayawardana

Hackers have attacked the websites of the Australian Police and Reserve Bank amid an ongoing row over reports Canberra spied on Jakarta officials.

The row has heightened diplomatic tensions between the allies and sparked protests in Indonesia.

Indonesia has suspended military co-operation with Australia and recalled its ambassador over the allegations.A top Australian adviser has also come under fire for several tweets critical of Indonesia’s handling of the row.

Reports of the spying allegations came out in Australian media from documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.The leaked documents showed that Australian spy agencies named Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the first lady, the vice-president and other senior ministers as targets for telephone monitoring, Australian media said.The alleged spying took place in 2009, under the previous Australian government.

“It is not possible that we can continue our co-operation when we are still uncertain that there is no spying towards us,” Yudhoyono said on Wednesday.

He added he would also write to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to seek an official explanation over spying allegations. Abbot has said he regretted the embarrassment the media reports have caused.

However, he also said that he does not believe Australia “should be expected to apologise for reasonable intelligence-gathering operations”.

SOURCE: BBC

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