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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:22am
Edward Snowden
NewsHong Kong

EXCLUSIVE: Whistle-blower Edward Snowden talks to South China Morning Post

Ex-CIA contractor speaks to reporter from secret location in Hong Kong, revealing fresh details of US surveillance, pressure on Hong Kong, snooping and cyber attacks on China.

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 8:51pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 June, 2013, 3:31am

Surveillance whistle-blower Edward Snowden has spoken for the first time since blowing his own cover in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post.

The ex-CIA analyst has been holed up in secret locations in Hong Kong since fleeing Hawaii ahead of highly sensitive leaks revealing details of US top-secret phone and internet surveillance of its citizens.

Snowden's actions have been both praised and condemned globally. 

More... Edward Snowden: US government has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years

More... Whistle-blower Edward Snowden tells SCMP: 'Let Hong Kong people decide my fate'

But he told Post reporter Lana Lam: "I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American."

Today, he reveals:

  • more explosive details on US surveillance targets
  • his plans for the immediate future
  • the steps he claims the US has taken since he broke cover in Hong Kong
  • his fears for his family

The 29-year-old was working for defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton at the National Security Agency (NSA), the biggest spy surveillance organisation in the world, when he leaked information claiming the US was systematically seizing vast amounts of phone and web data. Snowden fled to Hong Kong after using Britain’s Guardian newspaper to expose the agency’s PRISM program which gives officials easy access to data held by nine of the world’s top internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Skype.

People who think I made a mistake in picking HK as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality

“People who think I made a mistake in picking HK as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden told the Post earlier today.

He vowed to fight any extradition attempt by the US government, saying: “My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate. I have been given no reason to doubt your system.’’

It is believed the US is pursuing a criminal investigation, but no extradition request has yet been filed. Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the US, although analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.

His actions have been both praised and condemned globally, with some hailing him a hero while others a traitor. Some senators have accused Snowden of treason.

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Felix George
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Mr. Edward Snowden has the biggest balls in the world.
Not since Mr. Michael C. Ruppert released his book--"Crossing The Rubicon" has there been anyone on earth, like Mr. Edward Snowden, with the courage and the ability to take a stand against the evil forces trying to control our earth.
When we see corruption, we have three choices:
1. Join it
2. Ignore it
3. Fight it
Those who ignore and join are ultimately faced with this dilema... "There is no honor among thieves!"
Money, cars, houses, whores, drugs, drinks, gold, diamonds, power, and the like are all worthless, when compared to honor, love, truth, justice, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control... (all of these are "free"!)
Those who trash Mr. Snowden and his allies (who seek "equality & partnership") are obviously working for the dark side... they want "power and control" over everything around them!
Hitler is a wonderful example for you "power and control" junkies.. there is no limit.. there are no boundries... there are no rules... for your greed and lust.
But, there will always be an ugly ending for you and yours.
2 Kings 6:16
Mr. Snowden...you are my hero.
Keep up the good work.
I will try to help you in any way I can.
May the Good Lord Bless You and Keep You Safe!
Respectfully submitted,
elgato
Felix L. George, Architect
San Diego, California, USA
felixlgeorge@gmail.com
Don't Tread On Me
boothby
As a subscriber I wonder why this SCMP app does not allow me to read the full story. How very clumsy.
O'Shea
Mr/Ms Made in Thailand or Mr/Ms Scorpion, your anonymity is consistently similar to the cowardice that you accuse Snowden of.
hard times !
Snowden is neither a hero or a traitor, instead he is just an American with conscience and has strong sense of right and wrong.he once said that he was disgusted at the violation of privacy by the cyber-spying acts committed by the National Security Agency(which belongs to the Pentagon). over his own countrymen on the excuse of so-called anti-terrorism.Yet the cyber-surveillance activities cover the public of the whole world through the porgam named 'Prism'---any Americans' communications with foreigners outside America and all people outside America's e-communications have been monitored by the NSA---a mammoth cyber-spying activitiy indeed.In a broad sense,all people in the world are the target of the NSA ! How arrogant and rude the Obama administration has been ! And now they even accuse the whistle-blower/leaker,Mr.Snowden as a traitor committed of treason instead of letting his own compatriots know about their privacy has been compromised by their elected government just like those autocratic nations did/doing or the one described in George Orwell's novel:'1984' ! Right ? Shame on the U.S.government--the self-proclaimed freest nation in the world which safeguard personal freedoms and respect towards human rights !
andy.pappalardo.3
I am very concerned about some politicians total disregard for the documents that formed our country in the first place. Civil rights are being completely ignored. We continue to tell others in the world that they should be Democracies, when our Democracy looks more and more like a Plutocracy every day. Our politicians point to other countries in the world and call them Autocratic. It is time that we look within instead of always looing elsewhere for problems. When people like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange expose things that are wrong in the world, instantly you have high ranking officials calling for their death. Forgive me but I thought that freedom of speech and therefore freedom of the press are supposed to be important issues in Democracy. I grew up believing in America and it is sad the direction it is taking. Yes we have to protect ourselves but we also have to protect human rights and our right to privacy and our right to protest against our government if we do not believe that they are acting in our best interests. It feels to me that our government is becoming somewhat despot. This sort of thing is warned against in THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. A fairly significant document in our past. The very fact that I write this may cause me to be looked at by an agency such as the NSA. Go ahead I have nothing to hide. Can we all say that?
jack.l.black.37
It's obvious the NSA hacks are posting up a storm on these sites trying to demonize Snowden contradicting every American I know who considers Snowden a hero for having the balls to stand up to an American government that is out of control and nearly completely taken over by globalist elite scum. I am a retired U.S. Navy man and my father is a retired U.S. Marine and we both view him with great reverence. We have watched with horror as this country's so-called representative have sold us out to the New World Order and allowed us to be misled by an insane war against an enemy that does not exist as a pretense to decimate the U.S. Constitution, and as the mainstream media in America became a mouthpiece for this agenda by regurgitating the endless lies, including CIA led mass shootings aimed at stripping the citizens of their 2nd Amendment rights so that by the time we realize we have been taken over by a dictatorship we have no way to fight back. Americans better not ever allow their guns to be taken unless they want to live in a planned hell on Earth. If you don't believe this then go and read some of the writings of this New World Order bunch, they are more than forthcoming in their plans. Just because you don't see them spelled out on the nightly news does not mean it is not real. Read "Agenda 21", "Project for a New American Century", The Georgia Guide Stones, etc. These power freaks are out of their minds.
hkbulib2
My guess is Snowden chose the SCMP to talk to – it is unlikely he had wandered around Causeway Bay and been spotted by the reporter. So this is an achievement of the newspaper's reputation, similar to the reason the Washington Post and the Guardian were fed the scoop. Looking forward to it.
terryknows.moore
Want to say Thank you young man, Americans appericate all your doing. This is very brave of you, out of everyone in congress and the NSA..all government your the only one who has stood for truth.
marian.hilton.165
such a foolish response, it makes me incredibly sad.
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
Eventually has to talk to someone local and there is not much choice frankly......but good choice irregardles.
Lets hope this courageous young man gets his fair share of justice.
The people of HK supports free speech and the right to exercise their constitution rights.
Wish you all the best dude ...u r gonna need it .

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