Tag Archives: The US

Indonesian hackers crash Australian intelligence agency website

Anonymous IndonesiaIndonesian hackers have crashed the website of Australian intelligence agency ASIS, according to hackers and cyber experts, dramatically stepping up the revenge attacks in response to the spying affair.

On Monday, Nov 11 afternoon the website of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service was still not working.

Heru Sutadi, executive director of Indonesian technology think tank the Indonesia ICT Institute, confirmed that hackers from the country had launched a successful “distributed denial of service” attack, which crashed the website.

Sutadi said the hackers, linked to the global cyber-activist network Anonymous, had first attacked the ASIS site on Friday evening.

Several Indonesian hacker groups were also boasting of the cyber-attack on online forums.

A group called the Indonesian Security Down Team is believed to have been behind the ASIS attack. The ISD Team and other groups including the Indonesian Cyber Army and the Java Cyber Army have vowed to continue such attacks.

They say they are also targeting other high-profile Australian government sites including those of the national security agency ASIO and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Those sites were working normally on Monday afternoon.

The groups say they are retaliating against Australia’s electronic spying operations from its Jakarta embassy, a program revealed by Fairfax Media recently. They say they will continue the hacking unless the Australian government apologizes and promises to stop the electronic surveillance program.

An Australian Federal Police spokesperson said the ASIS incident had not been referred to them.

ASIS is the agency responsible for gathering foreign intelligence and carrying out counter-intelligence. It is approximately equivalent to the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States.

The ASIS website includes information on the agency’s role, contact details and recruiting information.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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USS Blue Ridge Visits Jakarta

The United States 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and Vice Admiral Scott H. Swift, commander, United States 7th Fleet, arrived on June 14 for a visit to Jakarta. Vice Admiral Swift met with US Ambassador Scot Marciel and with the Chief of Indonesian Navy Admiral Marsetio and hosted a reception aboard the Bule Ridge.

The USS Blue Ridge and embarked 7th Fleet staff are visiting Jakarta is support of building maritime partnerships with the Indonesian Navy and conducting security and stability operations.

While in port, the U.S. 7th Fleet Pacific Navy Band performed at @america in Pacific Place Mall, and the command soccer and volleyball teams played friendly matches against their Indonesian navy counterparts.

For 33 years, the USS Blue Ridge has maintained a presence in the Pacific, strengthening allied ties through community service projects and conducting joint military exercises with regional nations.

Source: The US Embassy in Jakarta – Indonesia

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US Ambassador joins opening of US – Indonesia military exercise

Ambassador Marciel Joins Opening of U.S.-Indonesia Military Exercise The US Ambassador Scot Marciel joined Maj. Gen. Gary Hara, Deputy Commander for the Army National Guard, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) and Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) Maj. Gen. Daniel Ambat, Kostrad Division 1 Commander, for the opening of the Garuda Shield exercise (GS) in Cilodong, Indonesia on June 10.

Garuda Shield is an annual Army-to-Army interoperability exercise. It is focused on building stronger relationships, sharing techniques, tactics and procedures, and building operational familiarity.

The exercise consists of four parts including a combined tactical operations center and staff process, computer planning exercise, intensive field exercise portion, and a combined airborne operation with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. This is the 7th iteration of the Garuda Shield exercise which is scheduled to conclude on June 21 at Kostrad Division 1 Headquarters.

The Garuda Shield exercise is the centerpiece of a series of exercises that are building greater cooperation under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership. This year’s Garuda Shield is the 7th iteration of the exercise and represents the largest and most complex bilateral event ever conducted between the United States and Indonesian Armies.

United States forces also participated Gema Bhakti combined Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief staff exercise at the International Peace and Security Center in Sentul, Indonesia from June 6-10. The Gema Bhakti exercise brought together forces from U.S. Army Pacific Command, U.S. Navy and Air Force to work side-by-side personnel from the TNI to create response planning to assist Indonesia in responding more efficiently to a natural disaster.

Experts in various disaster relief fields discussed issues, emergency responders and support services, face during an emergency and provided insights which allowed roughly 100 participants from both militaries to brain storm ideas to support national and strategic level decision making processes.

As a further compliment to the Garuda Shield and Gema Bhakti exercises, Indonesia and the United States also conducted a Disaster Response Exercise & Exchange entitled Pacific Resilience. Pacific Resilience, held from June 3-6 at the Indonesia Peace & Security Center in Sentul brought together USARPAC, TNI, Indonesian disaster response agencies, and U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). During the course of the exercise, over 150 participants gathered to focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The exercise was designed to simulate the response to an earthquake and tsunami impacting the area of Padang in western Sumatra.

Source: The US Embassy in Jakarta – Indonesia

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Papua development program aims to lure the young back to farming

As with many areas in Indonesia and around the world, people in Papua move from rural areas to the city. However, having lived close to their land for thousands of years their competitive streak in setting up small businesses lags behind that of migrants who have for generations had the skills to run businesses, according to Rio Pangemanan, Oxfam program manager on the Papua Enterprise Development Program.

In no corner of the town of Wamena will one see a shop that is owned or run by indigenous Papuans. Indigenous women with their noken (traditional Papuan woven bags) hanging from their heads to their backs sell sweet potatoes or vegetables on a cloth in the street markets. Young strong-limbed Papuan men push rickshaws, some even in bare feet. Others wander around the markets, intoxicated from glue-sniffing.

The UK based international development organization Oxfam is the international NGO that is allowed to operate in the province. Working with local partners, Oxfam has been supporting local farmers in five regencies in Papua in developing their farms and markets.

Oxfam supports the farmers according to the local needs and potential. For example, in Yapen Island, Oxfam has supported the Wamanuam Be Kitabono Yawa (WMY) Cooperative in cultivating vanilla beans. In Jayawijaya regency, the NGO has supported the Independent Business Foundation (Yapum) in cultivating and distributing sweet potatoes. Meanwhile in Paniai and Nabire Oxfam has supported their local partners in helping coffee farmers and in Jayapura, cacao farmers.

Oxfam’s contract ends next year, but Rio hopes that the NGO will get an extension for its programs. Rio said of the vanilla program in Serui that vanilla vines needed three years to produce beans, so new farmers would only have their first harvest in 2014. Rio said that by the end of 2014, he hoped the cooperative would be able to run independently.

Meanwhile in Wamena, Rio estimates that it will take two years for their partners to be independent in terms of management. He said that if the local government could take part in transportation and distribution of the produce, Oxfam’s partners, such as Yapum, would be able to operate independently once their management capacity had been strengthened.

In his office in Serui, Apolos Mora, the head of WMY cooperative said that for years vanilla trees grew in the wild in forests in Yapen. The Dutch brought the seeds when they opened coffee and chocolate farms on the island in the 1950s. “Before they [the Dutch] could teach the local people to cultivate vanilla, there was the transfer of power to Indonesia,” Apolos said.

One day in 2008, Apolos was reading about vanilla in the bookstore and an “Aha!” moment hit him as he realized that these plants were the ones that grew wild in the forest. When Madagascar, the largest vanilla pod producer in the world, had poor harvests, the price of vanilla pods skyrocketed to Rp 3 million (US$309) per kilogram, Apolos said. Apolos then decided to cultivate vanilla vines and trained the farmers joining his cooperative to plant vanilla too. He sells the pods to Manado, where they are exported to Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Recently, the price for dried vanilla pods was Rp 115,000 per kilogram.

PEDP manager, Rio Pangemanan, said that Oxfam supported programs according to the characteristics of the area. The island and coastal areas are more developed than the mountain areas due to ease of access to other islands in Indonesia. The mountain areas meanwhile are more isolated. This results in a different variety of crops that can be profitable to produce. While farmers in Serui can sell their crops in Manado, in Wamena farmers can only sell locally.

In Jayawijaya, Oxfam supports farmers revitalizing their sweet potato farms. Partnering with Yapum, they have developed 20 sweet potato collecting points in Jayawijaya that will distribute the crops to the markets in Wamena. Rio said that these collecting points had become a place for farmer’s advocacy and education to motivate the community to return to their farms instead of leaving for the city.

Local NGOs such as Yapum and WMY cooperative say that it is not always easy advocating for farmers to cultivate vanilla beans or sweet potatoes. Farmers’ programs in Papua are often project-based, in which farmers are given money to open rice paddies or fishponds. Once the funds dry up, the projects become neglected.

Eli Tabuni, the secretary of one of the sweet potato collecting points was one of the farmers who questioned the program. “This [sweet potato farming] is our culture, why are you making a project out of this?” he asked Yapum and Oxfam during their visit there. He said that many of the programs were only temporary and were not really helpful.

Kiloner Wenda, Oxfam Sweet Potato project officer in Jayawijaya, answered Eli in the Lani language with another question. “Where are the young people now who will work on the farms?” he said. “If we don’t start now, then our culture will slowly disappear,” he said.

Rio said that the projects aimed to support indigenous Papuan farmers in developing their business sense and opening their access to markets. In Wamena, women carrying their sweet potatoes from their villages to the market have to pay for transportation to the market for their heavy bags.

Yapum encourages them to sell the potatoes for Rp 5,000 per kilogram, and they only need to drop their crops at the collecting points. This way, the women did not have to travel far to the markets and could save on transportation, Rio said.

In Serui, the program has managed to attract young farmers, but in Wamena, whether the program will succeed in bringing the young back to the farms is yet to be seen. For the kids that like to play in the farm, their dreams are to be pilots and teachers, they say. But they will always love eating sweet potatoes.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Indonesia to buy combat helicopters from the United States

Indonesia wants to buy a number of combat helicopters from the United States for the army , Defenses Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said .

“The choice is Apache combat helicopters to strengthen the army weapons system,” Purnomo said here on Friday (15/02).

He said the US government has approved the proposal to buy Apache helicopters but the defense ministry wants a larger number.

“If we could not buy enough units of Apache, then we want Black Hawk. We want more combat helicopters to build up our strength,” he said.

He did not say how many units of helicopters the ministry plans to buy.

“We are still calculating based on the budget set aside by the finance ministry and the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas),” he said giving no figure for budget.

He said the final deal on the helicopters is expected to be signed this year.

Earlier army chief of staff Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo said the additional units are to form a new squadron of helicopters for territorial security.

Parmono also has been quoted as saying the army would have Rp14 trillion (US$1.56 billion) to buy military hardware this year.

“That is the amount approved by the House of Representatives for the army to buy new weapons,” he said.

He said negotiations are in progress for the purchase of 20 units of Black Hawk helicopter.

He acknowledged that the army needs replacement of old weapons simultaneously and by phases.

Talks on the fund disbursement has been in the final phase between the defense ministry and the finance ministry, he said.

The types of equipment to be acquired will depend on the requirement also including Leopard tanks, cannons and rockets with a firing range of up to 100 kilometers.

The equipment would be distributed by phases to various regions which need modernization of weapons system, he said.

Former head of the defense Facility board Maj. Gen. Ediwan Prabowo said the government allocates US$400 million to buy combat helicopters.

“The fund would be enough to buy 8 units of Apache helicopters as the price per unit is around US$45 million or 20 units of Black Hawk,” Ediwan said.

Apache is superior in that it could destroy tanks, armored vehicles and bunkers, he said.

Black Hawk has less capability in destroying targets but it could carry troops, he added.

Source: ANTARA News

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The US seeks expanded military ties with Indonesia

A senior U.S. official says Washington should expand its military ties with Indonesia, befitting a relationship between two robust democracies.

Top diplomat for East Asia, Kurt Campbell, said those ties have grown in recent years, but not fast enough.

Campbell was speaking Tuesday (27/11) at a gathering of the U.S.-Indonesia Society in Washington.

The U.S. severed military ties for several years after of Indonesia’s bloody crackdown in East Timor in 1999. Jakarta has since sought to professionalize and modernize its military. Key U.S. restrictions on engagement with Indonesia’s feared special forces were lifted in 2010.

Human rights groups say Indonesia’s military abuse continues, particularly in the restive province of west Papua.

Campbell also advocated deeper ties between the two governments and praised Jakarta’s leadership in regional diplomacy.

Source: The Associated Press

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Indonesia sets up special police team guard US’ mining site in Papua

A senior police officer overseeing Indonesia’s Papua province said on Wednesday that they will set up a special police team to safeguard the US’ Freeport gold and copper mining site in the province due to frequent violence by separatist group Free Papua Organization (OPM) aiming Freeport’s workers.

Chief of the Papua police, Inspector General Tito Karnavian said there have been cases of shooting and murder in Freeport operation area conducted by OPM’s armed groups.

“The team has to deal with many such cases and probe them thoroughly to the very bottom,” Karnavian said in Mimika, Papua.

Hundreds of acts of terror by OPM’s armed groups left more than 20 people killed including Freeport workers, police officers, company’s security officers and local traditional gold prospectors, he added.

He said that security condition around the mining site is under control. Investigations into violence cases occurring in Karnavian ‘s jurisdiction are underway at the moment with trials against perpetrators are progressing.

Karnavian visited the Freeport workers’ compound in Tembagapura, Mimika, last week.

SourceL Global Times

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