Aussie spies gave intel on Indonesian talks to NSA

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Aussie spies gave intel on Indonesian talks to NSA

US law firm targeted.

The latest leak of top secret documents by former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden shows the Australian Signals Directorate spied on Indonesian officials, and offered to share the intelligence gleaned with its American counterparts.

According to a report in to the New York Times, the documents show talks between a law firm and Indonesian government officials on trade issues were under surveillance by the Australian spy agency in February last year.

The ASD contacted the NSA and offered to share the intelligence, even though confidential information covered by attorney-client privilege could be included in it.

The NSA's liason officer in Canberra accepted the offer, and thanked the ASD for supplying valuable intelligence, the documents revealed.

While the talks in question were not identified to be particularly sensitive, they nevertheless involved the NSA using one of its Five-Eyes intelligence cooperation agreement partners for surveillance on Americans.

This is something that the American spy agency, which is barred from surveilling US citizens, has denied takes place.

In another instance of Australians spying on Americans, a US government employee in Afghanistan came under surveillance, the NY Times writes.

The case was reported to the NSA by the ASD. There were no further details in the documents.

The ASD is also said to have obtained almost 1.8 million keys from Indonesian mobile telco Telkomslel to decrypt private communications, an NSA document from 2013 reveals. 

Along with the decryption keys, an older document from 2012 sighted by the NY Times said the NSA also provides the ASD with bulk calling data from the Indosat network, which includes information from Indonesian government officials in different ministries.

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