Australia's reputation as a friendly and trusted leader in the region will be dented if it is proved it is using its embassies to spy on neighbouring countries.
That assessment comes from some Asian nations with diplomatic missions in Canberra.
Fairfax Media revealed this week that Australian embassies and high commissions across Asia were being used to intercept phone calls and data as part of a US-led global spying network.
On Friday, the Indonesian government demanded clarification on a suggestion that Australia's embassy in Jakarta was used to tap into the phone conversations of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or other high-ranking officials.
Australia's ambassador in Jakarta, Greg Moriarty, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry for a ''please explain''.
In Perth, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the spying was ''not cricket'' and Jakarta wanted an explanation.
''If Australia was itself subject to such an activity, would you consider it as being a friendly act or not?' he said.
''I'm not sure what is the right term in Australian terminology. I guess it's not cricket.''
He said while some countries had ''certain capacities'' to gather information, it might not be wise to use them.
''That's one thing, but whether you would want to put that into effect and therefore potentially damage the kind of trust and confidence that have been nurtured and developed over many decades and years is something we may want to ponder,'' he said.
Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who was also in Perth hosting a meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation attended by her Indonesian counterpart, confirmed that Dr Natalegawa had raised his concerns with her and that she was taking them seriously.
But Ms Bishop revealed little about the discussion.
''It's long-standing practice for Australia governments not to comment on intelligence matters and I will be adopting that long-standing practice,'' she said.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also declined to comment, citing national security issues.
Other Asian diplomats from embassies and high commissions in Canberra privately expressed concerns that Australia might be spying on their governments for Washington.
''This is not the mark of a good friend or a leader in this region,'' said one high-ranking diplomat who asked not to be identified.
''It might be no great surprise that the United States spies on other nations, but Australia should be above that.''
Another diplomat warned that Australia would be ''treated with a degree of suspicion'' in the region if it was found to be spying on its neighbours.
And a third senior diplomat said the issue could ''strain relations'' between Australia and other nations in the Asia-Pacific region if not resolved quickly.
The original revelations indicated that signals intelligence data was being gathered at Australian embassies and high commissions in Jakarta, Bangkok, Beijing, Hanoi, Dili, Kuala Lumpur and Port Moresby.