30-year-old American Edward Snowden, a contract employee at the National Security Agency, is the whistleblower behind significant revelations that surfaced in June 2013 about the US government's top secret, extensive domestic surveillance programmes. Snowden flew to Hong Kong from Hawaii in May 2013, and supplied confidential US government documents to media outlets including the Guardian.
Snowden may be called to Legco over hacking claims, says Hong Kong lawmaker
A lawmaker familiar with security issues said he was considering inviting US whistleblower Edward Snowden to the Legislative Council to give evidence on alleged US hacking activities on Hong Kong.
“I am interested to know how vulnerable our cyber systems are, and I want to ask Mr Snowden questions and verify his claims,” said James To Kun-sun, a Democrat and vice-chairman of Legco’s security panel.
To was responding to the Post’s exclusive interview with Snowden, who has claimed that he has documents to show that US authorities had hundreds of hacking operations targeting Hong Kong and the mainland since 2009. Local targets include Chinese University, public officials, students and businesses.
“As long as what Mr Snowden says helps us monitor government work and Hong Kong’s safety, we are entitled to know the truth,” To said.
“As a legislator, in view of the serious allegations of hacking, I am seriously considering whether we should invite Mr Snowden to come,” he added.
Also on Thursday, Professor Simon Shen Xu-hui, co-director of Chinese University’s International Affairs Research Centre, said: “Snowden’s public statement, if true, is hard evidence to confirm Beijing’s long-held stance that there is foreign intervention in Hong Kong affairs.”
But it would be hard to say whether China would use Snowden as a chip in negotiations with the US on other issues, Shen said.
Tony Henderson, of the Humanist Association of Hong Kong, said he was not surprised about the hacking. He doubted Snowden would win sympathy from Hong Kong people. “He is not a Chinese dissident, who will draw huge sympathetic response here,” Henderson said.