Malaysia must protest against US spying, says Anwar

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has urged PM Najib Razak to lodge a protest against the US over its alleged spying activities. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has urged PM Najib Razak to lodge a protest against the US over its alleged spying activities. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to lodge a protest against the United States for using its KL embassy to run a monitoring station to tap telephones and monitor communications networks.

In the latest report on top secret documents leaked by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, it was revealed that there are 90 electronic surveillance facilities worldwide, including in US embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Yangon.

“People are disgusted with the way that the intelligence apparatus are being used to spy ... latest of course in Spain.

“I think the Malaysian intelligence, in particular the prime minister, should not be seen to be so submissive and not prepared to say anything.

“They must lodge a protest, there is no reason for any country, foreign country, whether it's United States or any other country to be involved in any internal espionage in any country,” the Opposition leader told The Malay Mail Online at Parliament lobby.

Earlier today, a map originally published by Germany magazine Der Spiegel today, and sighted by Australian dailies Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and its Fairfax Media sister publication The Age, dated August 13, 2010, did not show any such facilities in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and Japan, which are the US’ closest allies.

In August, Australian intelligence sources had confirmed that top secret intelligence tool XKeyscore - which was revealed by on-the-run Snowden - has been used to spy on Malaysia among other Asia-Pacific countries.

The admission followed a leaked slideshow published by the UK’s daily The Guardian revealing in detail the US National Security Agency (NSA) program, which the newspaper claimed collects “nearly everything a user does on the Internet”.

The top secret slideshow made in 2008 revealed that the Xkeyscore program allows analysts to search through extensive database of emails, search queries, social media, online chats, and browsing histories of millions of people with no need for prior authorisation.

According to SMH today, the map revealed today showed a joint group between Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency called “Special Collection Service” conducting sweeping surveillance operation and clandestine operations against specific intelligence targets.

The map was also published in full originally in Der Spiegel’s website, but was later replaced with a censored version, which listed 90 Special Collection Service facilities, including 74 manned facilities, 14 remotely operated facilities and two technical support centres.

It was released to the “FVEY” group, which included the US’ “5-eyes” intelligence partners - the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand - said SMH.

SMH had previously named Australian signals intelligence facilities at Geraldton in Western Australia, Shoal Bay near Darwin, HMAS Harman near Canberra and the US-Australian Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap near Alice Springs as contributors to the XKeyscore database.

According to Fairfax Media, Australian intelligence sources recently confirmed that Australia’s electronic espionage agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, is a “full partner” in the XKeyscore programme.

Fairfax Media had in August revealed that Singaporean intelligence is partnering Defence Signals Directorate in operations to tap undersea fibre optic telecommunication cables linking Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

The Xkeyscore programme boasted that by 2008, over 300 terrorists had been captured from intelligence gathered by the tool.

At the time of writing, The Malay Mail Online could not reach the US Embassy for comments.