Monday 10 June 2013

'I don't expect to see home again': NSA whistle-blower faces life on the run as US tries to extradite him from Hong Kong

Whistleblower: Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant, revealed he had passed classified information on Prism to the media and then fled to Hong Kong

Via - Daily Mail

The NSA whistle-blower behind one of the most explosive government leaks in US history has revealed he does not 'expect to see home again' as he faces the rest of his life on the run.
Edward Snowden spoke out as American officials desperately try to extradite him from his Hong Kong bolt hole so he can face trial for leaking details of a top-secret programme to harvest the personal information of millions of web users by one of the world's most notorious spy organisations.
Mr Snowden spoke to The Guardian and Washington Post newspapers from a hotel room in Hong Kong where he is on the run for an expose seen by many as being on a par with Wiki-Leaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning.
He said: 'I think the sense of outrage that has been expressed is justified. It has given me hope that, no matter what happens to me, the outcome will be positive for America. I do not expect to see home again, though that is what I want.'
His flight to Hong Kong has sparked a political and diplomatic firestorm between America and China who have become locked in a custody battle for the 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant.

'All my options are bad,' he told the Guardian. 'Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets.
'We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.'
Revealing why he blew the whistle he said: 'I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.'
The programme - codenamed Prism - gives officials easy access to data held by nine of the world’s top internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Skype.
Mr Snowden, who is currently hiding in Hong Kong, acted after becoming convinced it was a ‘threat to democracy’.
Snowden, who earned £130,000 a year ($200,000), exposed chilling details of how the covert agency, based in Maryland, gathers private information from people around the world – including in Britain.
While his decision to flee to Hong Kong is a gamble, but its free speech laws mean he does have a slim chance of avoiding being swept back to America.

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