• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 6:47am
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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This article is now closed to comments

chuchu59
Patience people. Read the last sentence. It says 'read the full story soon'. I believe it should be published either late this evening or early tomorrow.
impala
Yes, where is the story? Is this an exclusive announcement of an exclusive story? If so, when will the story be published? Sigh...!
chuchu59
Congrats SCMP on this exclusive.
Hongkongflower
And I can't understand the last line *read the full story, only in the SCMP"...ahhhhhhhhh this is SCMP...
mankydanky
Where is the story? Isn't this the scmp?
boothby
As a subscriber I wonder why this SCMP app does not allow me to read the full story. How very clumsy.

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