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.
No reply from US on hacking claims disappointing, says security minister
Hong Kong’s security minister on Wednesday repeated calls by the government for the United States to clarify claims made by Edward Snowden that it had been hacking into computers in the city.
Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok also said the Hong Kong government was disappointed by the lack of a response on the part the US to its request for verification of the hacking claims.
The city’s security bureau wrote to the US government on June 21 asking for verification.
“We hope that the US government can give Hongkongers a comprehensive account [on the matter] as soon as possible,” Lai said after a Legislative Council meeting.
The explosive claims were made by whistle-blower and former CIA contractor Edward Snowden during a June 13 interview with the South China Morning Post while in Hong Kong.
In the interview, Snowden said the US had been hacking into computers in Hong Kong and China for years.
Snowden left the city on Sunday for Russia after the US laid charges against him and had requested that Hong Kong authorities arrest him. The 30-year-old is now in a transit area of a Moscow airport.
Lai said the government would vigorously follow up on the matter. He said internet security and privacy were essential to Hong Kong's role as a financial centre.