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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs