NSA leaker holed up in Hong Kong hotel, running low on cash

By Jethro Mullen and Matt Smith, CNN
updated 5:09 AM EDT, Mon June 10, 2013

Hong Kong (CNN) — The man behind of one of the biggest leaks in the history of U.S. intelligence is a former technical assistant for the CIA who is now holed up in a Hong Kong hotel, in danger of running out of money and hoping to find asylum somewhere in the world.

Edward Snowden, 29, was identified over the weekend by American and British newspapers as the person who exposed details of a top-secret American program that collects vast streams of phone and Internet data.

The revelations have set off a furious debate in the United States about whether the surveillance program is a disturbing form of government overreach or an important tool for intelligence agencies trying to prevent attacks against the nation.

They have also dealt a fresh blow to the Obama administration, which has found itself on the defensive early in the president’s second term amid other complaints of intrusions of privacy.

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2 replies

  1. US whistleblower Edward Snowden ‘defending liberty’

    Source: BBC
    Ed Snowden explains why he became a whistleblower (Video courtesy of The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras)

    An ex-CIA employee has said he acted to “protect basic liberties for people around the world” in leaking details of US phone and internet surveillance.

    Edward Snowden, 29, was revealed as the source of the leaks at his own request by the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

    Mr Snowden, now believed to be in Hong Kong, said he had an “obligation to help free people from oppression.”

    The recent revelations are that US agencies gathered millions of phone records and monitored internet data.

    A spokesman for the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the case had been referred to the Department of Justice as a criminal matter.

    The Guardian quotes Mr Snowden as saying he flew to stay in a hotel in Hong Kong on 20 May, though his exact whereabouts now are unclear.


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