Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s idea Indonesia can be our most important friend whilst asserting Australia’ s right to gather information necessary for her security without specially excluding spying on the Indonesian President, his wife or high ranking elected representatives seems to me to be a oxymoron. This approach underlines the inability of successive leaders to make progress, by accepting spying under the guise of security whilst attempting closer co-operation explicitly based on trust and good faith at a personal level.
This does not mean you have a blind trust, as Indonesia was reported to be spying on Australia in 1999, or to compromise security, but rather to preclude specific wiretapping at a leaders level until such information or events would tell you any further trust is unwarranted. The latest revelations jeopardize trade and strategic security for the region, and Abbot should seek to be more conciliatory and rule out further episodes.
What should be of more concern is the wisdom of continuing to trust in the integrity of current information sharing facilities with the USA, given the repeated leakages via Wiki leaks and now through Edward Snowden.