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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:56am
Edward Snowden
NewsHong Kong

We don't owe anyone an apology, says US consul over Edward Snowden affair

Hong Kong still waiting for US reply on Snowden hacking allegations, says security chief

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 5:47pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 July, 2013, 10:35am

Outgoing US consul in Hong Kong Stephen Young said on Thursday the US did not owe any country an apology in relation to the alleged hacking activities disclosed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

But Young did say the United States government would address queries made by Hong Kong officials on the issue in its own time and manner.

"But I don’t think we owe an apology to anyone," he said when speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Central on Thursday afternoon.

The root of the problem here is we have somebody [Snowden] who violated his trust with the US and chose Hong Kong to demonstrate that
Stephen Young, US consul, Hong Kong

“Because I think the real root of the problem here is we have somebody [Snowden] who violated his trust with the United States and chose Hong Kong as a place to demonstrate that.”

He also said that Snowden had made a lot of allegations and many seemed to be self-serving in an attempt to garner sympathy for himself.

Young did say that the Snowden saga had damaged the trust between Hong Kong and the US but he believed it could be restored.

"I wouldn’t be leaving here with the generally optimistic view of Hong Kong if I thought that the damaged trust couldn’t be restored."

Earlier on Thursday, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok told Hong Kong lawmakers that Hong Kong was still waiting for a reply from the United States on claims made by Snowden that US agencies had hacked into the city’s computers.

Lai was speaking at a Legislative Council meeting to discuss the revelations made last month by the American whistle-blower and ex-CIA worker.

“The Security Bureau wrote to the US on June 22 to seek an explanation. We are looking forward to a comprehensive and thorough clarification for Hongkongers as soon as possible,” Lai said in an opening speech.

We are looking forward to a comprehensive and thorough clarification for Hongkongers as soon as possible
Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok

Lai said that with regard to the Snowdon case, his allegations of US hacking into Hong Kong’s computer systems was the top concern of the city’s lawmakers and people.

He also said the city had facilities to guard against cyberattacks and had invested in the research and development of new internet security technology.

Snowden told the South China Morning Post in mid-June – soon after fleeing his home country – that Washington had been hacking into mainland China and Hong Kong computer systems for years. One target in the city, he said, was the hub for Hong Kong’s internet traffic located on the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s campus in Sha Tin.

Snowden, who is wanted by Washington for leaking details of the US intelligence surveillance programmes, is now seeking temporary asylum in Russia after spending more than three weeks in a Moscow airport transit lounge trying to find a country that would grant him asylum.


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This article is now closed to comments

Let me summarize your point. "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen
Don't go away before you reply our Security Chief's questions, Mr. Young.
A real dense remark out of desperation indeed. Would indiscriminate defecation be a strong character trait in people of leaders in the world stage ? Surely you must be jesting.
"A very large proportion of HK and Chinese people now despise the USA" Now there is a scientifically derived conclusion based on a poll of thousands, eh?
Though the US has yet again gotten itself into a red-faced situation, I don't think the average person, really cares at this point.
hard times !
'we don't owe anyone an apology ' I wonder why wrongdoings comitted should not ask for excuse/pardon while the nature of the crime (hacking is a serious crime in Hong Kong) alleged by whistle-blower,Mr.Snowden is so serious that our Legco chairperson has just written a letter to Obama through the US Consul General in Hong Kong, expressing our concern and worries of the allegations of Snowden.Besides,both the US Senate and the House representatives have received our letters of complaint too.Our secretary for security has earlier written to the US Dept.of Justice asking for an explanation of the alleged hackings into our computers but no reply has been received.It looks the mutual trust between America and Hongkong will be at risk for a long time to come.Just wait and see how this thorny issue can be resolved.
Now why would he be haunted by dreams or be taunted by mere rhetoric when his Great and Mighty country is on top of the food chain ? Does survival of the fittest ring a bell ?
Oxymoron: We'll see how long it'll be before the great big USA turns into another has been like the UK.
HKbulib, well said on the ignorant comment. You should have seen johnyuan at his pinnacle of ignorance when he tried to claim that the rule of law is an "outdated" concept.
You inspired me another way to explain to you why rule of law is an outdated concept. First, as previously I explained to you, rule of law is valid but conditionally. It needs to be based on a common agreed vtalue which one use law to protect, defend and punish the offender of the agreed value. Here, what I have for you is that Hong Kong's rule of law is base on a set of colonial value that base on common law. Common law has its origin from a class system. So either you are a ruler or a subject. It is no longer a valid divide but an out dated concept. It is really not a glorious thing to constantly trumpeting Hong Kong has rule of law. The divide between the have and don't have is just too embarassing for a modern citizen and city.
Next time, bring some good points to the debate.
US is caught between a hard place and a rock. It can’t really defend its cyber hacking probably worldwide for its national security etc. It can’t even explain to Hong Kong for its clandestine act by claiming it is right because it netted HSBC and Charted Standard for laundry money or more. I guess, the computer technology is just not up there yet (a big questionable yet) to separate the innocent from the crook. It will be god if it can. Can’t explain, can’t apologize without jarpordize what is clandestine.



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