Entries in NSA (3)


Senator Accuses Putin of 'Aiding and Abetting Snowden's Escape'

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday of “aiding and abetting” NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s escape from Hong Kong.

“What’s infuriating here is Prime Minister [sic] Putin of Russia aiding and abetting Snowden’s escape,” Schumer said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.

“The bottom line is very simple: Allies are supposed to treat each other in decent ways, and Putin always seems almost eager to put a finger in the eye of the United States, whether it is Syria, Iran and now, of course, with Snowden,” he said. “I think it’ll have serious consequences for the United States-Russia relationship.”

Schumer also questioned the involvement of Chinese officials in influencing Hong Kong’s decision to allow Snowden to leave despite an extradition request from the U.S.

“Well, first, very disappointing what Hong Kong has done. It remains to be seen how much influence Beijing had on Hong Kong. As you know, they coordinate their foreign policies. And I have a feeling the hand of Beijing was involved here,” Schumer said.

Hong Kong officials said Sunday that Snowden left Hong Kong on Sunday “on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel.”

The Hong Kong government said that the U.S. government’s extradition request “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong Law” and argued that there was “no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Leaves Hong Kong

Photo by The Guardian via Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified documents has left Hong Kong.

The United States request for extradition of Snowden was apparently faulty, according to the Hong Kong Government. They say that there was no basis to prevent Snowden from boarding a plane en route to Moscow. ABC News Chief Political Correspondent George Stephanopoulus says Snowden will also be free from U.S. Grasp in Moscow.

According to BBC News, Snowden may fly to another country from Moscow, with Cuba and Ecuador as two potential destinations.

Reports say that Wikileaks assisted Snowden in his exit from Hong Kong.

Snowden was charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence in a criminal complaint that was unsealed on Friday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Protesters Take to Hong Kong Streets to Support NSA Leaker

Photo by The Guardian via Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- Protesters took to the streets in Hong Kong on Saturday to show their support for NSA leaker Edward Snowden and demand a "thorough explanation" of the secret surveillance program he exposed.

Roughly 200 people braved the rain to march to the U.S. consulate, chanting "Free Snowden" and "Arrest Obama." Others carried large posters with pictures under the headline "Big brother is watching you."

Outside the U.S. consulate, demonstrators blew their whistles saying they "were all whistle-blowers today," then handed over a letter to Consul General Steve Young, demanding an end to all surveillance of "innocent internet users" under the NSA program.

"The idea of mass surveillance not only violates the right to privacy and human dignity, but threatens the very fundamental human rights of freedom of thought, opinion, expression and association," the letter said.

Crowds at the rally were significantly smaller than the 1,000 people organizers expected, but Snowden has slowly been gaining public support since he flew to Hong Kong and exposed himself as the whistle-blower behind one of the biggest intelligence leaks in U.S. history.

Earlier this week, he told the South China Morning Post that the NSA had been hacking Chinese and Hong Kong computers since 2009, specifically targeting Chinese University, public officials, and students.

The interview raised alarm, and appears to have rallied support behind Snowden who called the surveillance program proof of "hypocrisy of the U.S. government."

A poll released by the same newspaper Saturday, showed one in two Hong Kongers believed their government should resist handing over Snowden, if Washington requested extradition.

"We demand the whole truth be disclosed by the U.S administration, and we demand an unconditional apology by Mr. Obama," said Albert Ho, a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

Snowden has said he fled to this city, because of its strong tradition of free speech, and its reputation for independence from western countries.

But the high-profile case comes amid increasing anxiety of Beijing's influence in Hong Kong's government. The city has its own rule of law and political system, but residents worry that independence is fading.

Demonstrator Chikwan Ho said the Snowden case would be a major test of Hong Kong's own freedoms.

"By standing up for Snowden, I also want to send a message that we need that kind of citizen in Hong Kong," demonstrator Chikwan Ho said. "Somebody who is watching our government to see if they are abusing power to control our lives."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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