News / USA

FBI Launches Criminal Investigation Into NSA Leaks

FBI Director Robert Mueller listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 13, 2013.
FBI Director Robert Mueller listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 13, 2013.
VOA News
The director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller, is vowing to take swift action against the former CIA analyst who has confessed to leaking documents exposing a pair of top secret government surveillance programs.

Speaking to lawmakers Thursday, FBI chief Mueller confirmed that a criminal investigation has been opened into the leaks, which he said have dealt a blow to U.S. national security.

"These disclosures have caused significant harm to our nation and to our safety. We are taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures," said Mueller.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden giving an interview about why he leaked intelligence information.NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden giving an interview about why he leaked intelligence information.
x
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden giving an interview about why he leaked intelligence information.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden giving an interview about why he leaked intelligence information.
He did not mention the name of the confessed leaker, Edward Snowden, who is currently in Hong Kong, from where he has vowed to fight any attempt to extradite him to the U.S. to face charges.

Mueller defended the surveillance programs, saying they are a legal and crucial tool in preventing terrorist attacks. He said their disclosure could prompt potential terrorists to change their behavior and become more difficult to track.

General Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, says the programs carried out by his agency have helped foil dozens of terrorist attacks. Lawmakers say the NSA will soon present details on this claim.

New revelations

Meanwhile, Snowden, an ex-NSA contractor, continues to speak with media outlets from Hong Kong. In his latest interviews, Snowden has moved beyond criticizing the domestic spying programs, and is now also focusing on what he says are widespread U.S. hacking attempts against foreign targets.

A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying the latest interview with Edward Snowden, is displayed on a newspaper stand along with local Chinese newspapers, in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013.A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying the latest interview with Edward Snowden, is displayed on a newspaper stand along with local Chinese newspapers, in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013.
x
A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying the latest interview with Edward Snowden, is displayed on a newspaper stand along with local Chinese newspapers, in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013.
A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying the latest interview with Edward Snowden, is displayed on a newspaper stand along with local Chinese newspapers, in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013.
​On Wednesday, he told the South China Morning Post the NSA has been hacking computers in Hong Kong and mainland China since 2009, with targets including public officials, businesses and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The revelation threatens to further complicate relations between China and the United States, which have already been trading increasingly fierce accusations on cyber hacking and espionage.

For the second straight day, Chinese state media, which often reflect official opinion, devoted a considerable amount of coverage to the issue.

An editorial in the Communist Party-controlled Global Times said Beijing deserves an explanation from the U.S. on the alleged hacking attempts. It said Chinese officials should try to acquire more information from Snowden and "use it as evidence to negotiate with the U.S."

So far, there is no evidence Beijing officials have sought out any such information from Snowden, who is in an unknown location in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous sovereign territory of China.

But the editorials now suggest Beijing would be willing to use the leaks to deflect pressure from Washington, which had attempted to hold China accountable for its alleged hacking attacks on U.S. targets.

A series of recent private and official reports have accused Chinese hackers of stealing information, ranging from the designs for dozens of top U.S. weapons systems to other trade secrets and commercial data that would benefit Chinese businesses.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Paul from: Dallas, TX
June 14, 2013 11:56 AM
I would like to know when there will be a criminal investigation of the senior leaders of the United States for their criminal behavior? The 4th Amendment is there for a reason, to protect us against unreasonable search and seizure. This program clearly violates that right, 350 million times a day and anybody that cannot see the illegality of this program is a fool and a coward.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 14, 2013 10:31 AM
Criminal case, yes. That's the right thing to say and do. Aiding the terrorists, that's treasonable felony. Trying to set China against USA is its own offense. Did he just find out that USA was hacking China's information, or does he want to use that as an asylum jackpot? These are all lies that deserve criminal prosecution.

The Secret services must do what they have to do to keep America and Americans safe. And this does not violate the privacy of any individual, hence no private recognition is intended except where an individual portrays criminal tendency. Therefore the legal department should take appropriate action to deter THOSE who are, or help, enemies USA.

In Response

by: SirGalahad from: Blandings
June 15, 2013 11:48 PM
The enemy of the people is the government. Snowden realises this and that the enemy of the Chinese people is the Chinese government. I can't see him helping them

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid