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  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 8:45am
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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46

This article is now closed to comments

Kaman Cheung
I called the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center previously regarding my issue that I suspected my computer was being hacked, but the telephone representative didn't accept my case. Blah.
Neil Kitson
I believe your facts are incorrect. As far as I can see, Snowden did not reveal PRISM to the Guardian before he travelled to Hong Kong. Details are important.
johnrai7
Its been sensed that Beijing will least be involved as Beijing and HK follow different path in Human Rights issue and freedom, Thanks to HK own mini-constitution and law system.
If Beijing involves it will only making its own problem to lit up its own hidden HR abused problems , where 100s of activist are kept arrested.
So it all lies on HK rule and court and her People. Atleast, HK ppl. should be proud that we have managed to be known for fair rule of law and freedoms. But surely we will not tolerate for terrorist related issues and criminals.... Good luck to Snowden,,,, you are most welcome here and we support you humanely and unpolitically. May justice be served.
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.
leslymill
Without a doubt I can ssense the hacks coming out trying to trump Boehner's treason fiasco.
jack.l.black.37
It is obvious the NSA has their hacks posting up a storm on these sites. Every American I know 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.
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.
TRUTHABOUTTHECIA.ORG
Snowden: Here's what they will do. They will put you Under Investigation for an extended time period. This will include contacting everyone who you have 'ever' known in your life.
They will 'then' ask them questions which are leading and lead them into Litigious Traps which will 'leverage them' to be in a position that 'they cannot contact you'. I am 'presently' on Day 570 since the last time I have 'really' spoke with my Children, Loved Ones, Ms. Lili Stiff (VP of Administration for my Company) and Kelse.
Along with that, they will also contact each and every employer you have ever had. At your age that's not a big deal. At mine, (54) that is a big deal. Then you have your own company like I do, they will try to kill it. If you hear of any Country which is Seeking Truthful People to migrate from the Debacle of this Country. Let me know could be interest
As for me, they 'tried' to bury me in Montana and attempted to move me out of the country when I was in the Czech Republic. Although I 'really liked' the Czech Republic. I'm not going to move anywhere until I am reunited with my Children, Loved Ones, Ms. Lili Stiff and Kelse.
It's that simple. Oh yea one other thing, they tried to cover up my Son-in-Law's Murder in Action on his last mission the night before he was to return from Afghanistan. To me, that's a Big Deal, BIG DEAL.
And then, I trapped them in the Illegal Funding for the Search of Weapon's of Mass Destruction.
Keep your head down - Keith Grant
Made in Thailand
He is nothing more than an attention hoe wishing he could be an assange. He is no hero, heroes die pulling people out of fires, diving into submerged cars to rescue strangers. This man is a coward with no honor and a traitor to finish. Hope he rots in the cell next to wikileaks loser.
Made in Thailand
COWARD, TRAITOR!! oh that's harsh, my bad.....what do you call a man with no honor, wants attention like Tony Stark and thinks that when given a Top Secret Clearance, can just fly to another country and expose the secrets I was given to safeguard. That is a TRAITOR and a fleeing one at that so Coward like makes sense too. So the headlines should say" COWARDLY TRAITOR seeks assange like attention!!! Wrap yourself in the freedom that former Secrets provided. Cloak yourself a hero when real heroes died defending America. You sir are no hero, just a fleeing attention **** that stabbed a country in the back that was trying to defend you and your family.

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