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  • Jul 26, 2014
  • Updated: 1:27am
Edward Snowden
CommentInsight & Opinion

US cannot hide behind excuses

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 2:25am

When a burglary is reported, the immediate action to take is to assess the loss and damage and alert the police to investigate. With any luck, justice will then be served. So after American surveillance whistle-blower Edward Snowden revealed that Hong Kong computers had been hacked for years, the public rightly expects the government to take it up with the US.

The breadth and depth of the surveillance on Hong Kong can only be a matter of guessing at this stage. In an exclusive interview with this paper, the former CIA technical assistant said the attacks on Hong Kong cover Chinese University, public officials, businessmen and students. The information obtained remains unknown, but the success rate of the limited sample shown to the Post was more than 75 per cent. The revelation is alarming. Officials should press the US side for clarification Many protesters gathered outside the US consulate yesterday in support of Snowden called for a stop to snooping.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying broke his silence on the issue yesterday, saying that "when the relevant mechanism is activated", the Hong Kong government would handle Snowden's case in accordance with the city's laws. Needless to say the Snowden case is the most politically sensitive to be handled by the Leung team. He also said the government would follow up on any incidents related to the privacy or other rights of the institutions or people in Hong Kong being violated.

Hong Kong's free flow of information and capital may hold appeal to criminals of all sorts. But the city, after all, is known to be a responsible global citizen rather than a hotbed of terrorism and illicit activities. Given our good record in complying with international standards and requests for help in criminal investigations, it begs the question why clandestine surveillance is still necessary.

Social networking site Facebook revealed that it had received up to 10,000 requests for user data in the second half of 2012, covering some 19,000 users' accounts. Microsoft said it had received requests on about 31,000 consumer accounts during the period. It is good that more light has been shed on the scale of the problem. The US authorities owe Hong Kong and the world a full account of its cyberattacks. It cannot hide behind the excuse of national security and hack anyone it wants. Our government should also press for clarification.


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the sun also rises
According to Britain's 'The Guardian',in 2009 during the summit of G20, the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) had set up a cyber pub for the particpants of that summit to send their e-messages home so as to monitor the messages sent home by the participating countries' heads.This GCHQ has close connection with U.S.'s NSA.This news report further confirms what Mr.Snowden claimed that cyber-surveillance has long been used to monitor everybody's e-communications (through cell phones or e-mails) by the NSA which out-source such tasks to Britain for the monitoring of Europe and Africa. We sensible and logical Hong Kong people should choose to believe what Snowden disclosed in his interview with SCMP reporters on June 12th in Hong Kong.
the sun also rises
Most Hongkongers will never understand why secret surveillance is still necessary as Hong Kong is not a hotbed for terrorists or illicit activites.instead,we are responsible global citzens who comply with international standards and requests for criminal investigations.But not this time for the so-called criminal act of Mr.Snowden whose revelations of his country's National Security Agency tell us that we Hongkongers' computers have been hacked into since 2009.And the targets include our Chinese Univ.where the Hong Kong Internet Exchange (which tackles all the internet communications in the territory) and our public officials,businessmen and even students who can never be potential or current terrorists who might pose danger or risks to the security of America and her people. Right ? Our weak Leung administration should be courageous enough to stand out to safeguard our interests by asking the U.S.government's secret agencies to stop hackings on our computers for no proper reasons as it also violates our much-valued privacy ! Not to say our human rights and freedoms of expression and speech !
I am not sure there will be any proof proved by Snowden or anyone eve. At this point its all rumors, allegations and hearsay.
the sun also rises
if what Mr.Snowden said were just rumours or allegations,the NSA or Obama government would more than likely have clarified it ? have they ? Not yet though a week has passed ! What we learnt is the seniors in the Obama administration and leaders of both Republician and Democrats Parties plus the secret agencies head are threatening to have this leaker duly punished by law and have him swiftly arrested and flew home to be tried on charges of treason and dishonestly using computers plus stealing state top secrets and have them disclosed to the world---violation of the ordinance of secrecy of America ! Right ?
the sun also rises
of course the Big Brother--the US can never hide behind and claim that all its cyberattacks on other nations like China and our beloved Hong Kong is for her national security and it can hack anyone it wants--a blatant violation of privacy and disrespect towards human rights plus is an act of robbers-----a national-typed hacking activity committed systematically and has been carrying on for quite a long time:hacking Mainland China for at least 15 years while Hong Kong at least 4 years (after Obama taking up his office) on the excuse of so-called anti-terrorism and her national security.How arrogant and rude plus violation of her own constitution,especailly the spirit of her independence on July 4th 1776-----guarantee freedom of speech and liberty from fear---hacking and monitoring of her own citizens and their communications with outside world plus hacking into other nations' computer networks to read or get info as much as she likes/wants at any time---like a rascal or Big Brother indeed.Besides,America helped the U.K.Canada, Australia and New Zealand to set up monitoring stations/bases on these countries' soil to monitor the e-communications of other countries.Our Hong Kong is under the surveillance of Australia which is responsible for the monitoring of South China and India. What a shame this No.1 military power and so-called freest nation on the world ! Shame on her and Obama administration !


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