As tension grows in the U.S. latest request for Hong Kong to extradite Snowden, he is releasing more information and allegations regarding the U.S. stealing data from the Chinese.
“The NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cellphone companies to steal all of your SMS data.”
According to the South China Morning Post, Snowden handed over a series of documents to the paper detailing how the US had targeted Chinese phone companies as part of a widespread attempt to get its hands on a mass of data.
The heat is on, as the U.S filed formal charges against Snowden for leaking classified information to an unauthorized person, theft and espionage.
The U.S. officials are optimistic that the Chinese Government will hand Snowden over to answer to these charges.
“We believe that the charges presented, present a good case for extradition under the treaty, the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong,” said White House National Security Adviser, Tom Donilon.
According to news sources, within hours of formal charges being filed against Snowden, he began to spill his guts to the Chinese regarding the vast amount of snooping the U.S. has done on the Chinese.
China has requested the U.S. answer to Snowden’s allegations and information that he released to them.
Andy Tsang, Hong Kong’s police commissioner, revealed that Hong Kong’s legal process will be adhered to once the U.S. filed criminal charges. “All foreign citizens must comply with Hong Kong’s law.” Once the U.S. makes its request the police will respond.
Legislators there have voiced their concerns about the extradition, Leung Kwok-hung believes Hong Kong should protect Snowden and encouraged the people to “take to the streets to protect Snowden.”
Cyd Ho, vice-chairwoman of the pro-democracy Labour Party, believes China needs to make its position known to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region before the case goes to court.
While the legislature in China is pondering whether to release him those in the U.S. have accused him of treason.
“I’ve always thought this was a treasonous act. I hope Hong Kong’s government will take him into custody and extradite him to the US,” Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, said.
The U.S. is depending on their past relationship with Hong Kong to prevail in this situation and are confident that Snowden will be extradited.
What is interesting is that Snowden’s release of information suggesting the U.S. is stealing information from China, comes at a time when the U.S. and Beijing are in the process of working through allegations that China is snooping on the American government and commercial operations.
While Beijing has been quiet, it is unlikely they will intrude unless Snowden losses the battle, at that point they may get involved.
“Beijing would only intervene according to my understanding at the last stage. If the magistrate said there is enough to extradite, then Mr. Snowden can then appeal,” Martin Lee, the founding chairman of the Democratic Party, said.
According to a Washington Post report, Olafur Sigurvinsson, an Icelandic businessman, told reporters on Thursday that he was a private jet and ready to take Snowden to Iceland, one of the places Snowden named in his interviews.
There have been no reports of Snowden leaving Hong Kong. In order for Snowden to leave Hong Kong, he would have to go through immigration and customs checks, it would be difficult for him to leave without alerting authorities.
It appears that Snowden thought his release of information to China would be a good leveraging device against extradition, but with both countries accusing the other of snooping, it makes one wonder if he ran to the wrong place for asylum.
By: Veverly Edwards