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  • Nov 20, 2014
  • Updated: 8:44am
Edward Snowden
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'More disclosures to come' from Snowden in Hong Kong

Journalists say whistle-blower will divulge further secrets while hiding in the city

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 3:27pm

A journalist who helped US whistle-blower Edward Snowden disclose top-secret details of an internet surveillance programme, angering the Obama administration, said yesterday there were more secrets to expose.

"We are working on stories [...] that we think are very valuable for the public to know that don't in any way harm national security but that shine a light on this extremely secretive though momentous agency," Glenn Greenwald told CNN, referring to the National Security Agency, which runs the programme Snowden has exposed.

Greenwald, a columnist with British newspaper The Guardian, and Washington-based colleague Ewen MacAskill, interviewed Snowden in Hong Kong before the the 29-year-old checked out of his Tsim Sha Tsui hotel at the weekend.

McAskill told CNN that Snowden was still in Hong Kong, but did not provide any further details of his whereabouts. "I probably suspect there will be a long drawn-out legal process here in Hong Kong. I'd imagine there's now going to be a real battle between Washington and Beijing and civil rights groups as to his future."

Snowden's latest employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, a government contractor, said yesterday it had fired him "for violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy". It said he had earned a salary of US$122,000 a year. The company called Snowden's actions shocking and said he had been a Booz Allen employee for less than three months. The Obama's administration is weighing whether to charge Booz Allen with leaking classified surveillance secrets while it defends the broad US spy programme that it says keeps America safe from terrorists.

Snowden previously worked for the CIA and likely obtained his clearance there. But like others who leave the government to join private contractors, he was able to keep his clearance.

In response to inquiries from the South China Morning Post, the UN High Commisioner for Refugees' office in Hong Kong yesterday would not confirm whether it had received a refugee status application from Snowden, saying it would not comment on individual cases.

Many in Washington are baying for Snowden's blood after he leaked details of the NSA's worldwide surveillance programme, while some social media commentators in China queried his choice of destination.

Obama's spy chief, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, described Snowden's leaks as gravely damaging to US security, and referred the matter to the Justice Department, which has launched an investigation.

Others, such as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, called Snowden a "hero" defending personal liberty. A petition to pardon Snowden had attracted more than 30,000 electronic signatures a day after it was posted on the White House website.

Snowden flew to Hong Kong last month after copying - at the NSA's office in Hawaii - the documents he intended to disclose.

For now, Snowden has a 90-day visa which has about two more months to run. He could seek an extension, with Hong Kong having the right of refusal.

Legal sources in Hong Kong said Snowden could seek representation by lawyers in the city, including the most prominent, Philip Dykes and Mark Daly.

Dykes, who has worked on extradition cases, declined to confirm or deny he had been approached by Snowden.

Daly, speaking from Geneva, said he was not aware of any approach from Snowden, but said he would be willing to represent him if asked.

As things stand now, there is nothing to prevent Snowden from travelling to a destination of his choice. One of the Asian countries without an American treaty is China, though there is no guarantee Beijing would want to risk a confrontation with the US by taking Snowden in.

Snowden might also consider Iceland or Russia. According to the Kommersant Daily, Moscow has said it might provide asylum.

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, Reuters



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This article is now closed to comments

Hong Kong has made a name for itself by demonstrations. The world is showing a reverse trend now - Americans come to China to for freedom and liberty?!
Note that Snowden chose to give his secrets to a non-American newspaper. I speaks volumes about the state of the US media.
Another interesting trend is that Americans, born in USA and without any Chinese link apply for Chinese citizenship while giving up their US citizenship.
You don't sign up to be a soldier if you are against killing another human being. You don't go work in an abattoir if you are against killing animals.
Anyone expecting 100% privacy for internet activity is naive. It is highly probable only a very very small minority even bother to read terms and conditions, privacy policies of internet services like email, social networks.
Snowden is NOT a hero. Hong Kong should deport him as soon as possible.
By him coming here it only distracts Hong Kong government and HK people's time on issues that truly matter to Hong Kong.
Funny with the term "firm's code of ethics and firm policy". So if the top secret information is against humanity, the firms' code of ethics and policies is to conduct businesses that is against humanity.
Sounded like BAH is going down the tubes.
I wish he doesn't regret to choose to come here, unless he had thought deeply without any other option. The Hong Kong Government definitely won't protect him. They are just looking at Beijing's decision. Maybe he should pack up and fly to Russia asap, before Putin changes his mind.
and increasing rapidly


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