News / USA

Report: NSA Leaker Denies Contact with Chinese Government

Tom Grundy, an activist, blogger and co-organizer supporting Edward Snowden's campaign, browses the live chat with Snowden on the Guardian website in his house in Hong Kong, June 17, 2013.
Tom Grundy, an activist, blogger and co-organizer supporting Edward Snowden's campaign, browses the live chat with Snowden on the Guardian website in his house in Hong Kong, June 17, 2013.
VOA News
The British newspaper The Guardian says a former U.S. intelligence contractor who recently exposed some U.S. surveillance operations has denied he had any contact with the Chinese government.

The newspaper said Edward Snowden made the comment Monday in a live question and answer session with Internet users, hosted on The Guardian website. Snowden has been hiding in the autonomous Chinese territory of Hong Kong since leaking U.S. intelligence documents to several newspapers earlier this month.

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney denounced Snowden as a "traitor" in a Sunday television interview, warning that the former National Security Agency contractor could provide classified U.S. information to Chinese authorities.

In Monday's online interview, Snowden is quoted as calling Cheney's assertion a "predictable smear" and saying that being labeled a "traitor" by the former vice president "is the highest honor you can give an American."

Snowden's comments could not be independently verified.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also denied that Snowden has spied for China, calling the suggestion "complete nonsense."

In her Monday briefing, Hua urged U.S. authorities to pay attention to international concerns about their surveillance operations and provide what she called a "necessary explanation." It was the first comment by a Chinese official on the NSA leaks.

In another part of the online interview, The Guardian quoted Snowden as saying U.S. intelligence analysts have the ability to view the content of U.S. citizen phone and e-mail communications without a warrant, provided that they label such data collection as "incidental" to the search for suspected terrorists.

Snowden also criticized other U.S. political figures including President Barack Obama, senior members of Congress and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He accused them of colluding to expand a "suspicion-less surveillance" operation that he described as an abuse of human rights.

The former NSA contractor did not mention any specific cases of U.S. intelligence operatives viewing private communications of Americans and did not give any examples of alleged rights abuses by those operatives.

Some U.S. officials and lawmakers have accused Snowden of damaging national security by tipping off U.S. enemies about previously-secret surveillance programs and enabling them to change tactics. Snowden rejected that charge, saying "I did not reveal any U.S. operations against legitimate military targets."

Snowden fled to Hong Kong last month and has vowed to use its British-rooted legal system to fight any attempt to extradite him to the United States. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has said Snowden is under criminal investigation but it has not filed any charges against him or asked for his extradition.

In an earlier report Monday, The Guardian said documents leaked by Snowden show that Britain spied on diplomats attending the 2009 Group of 20 summit in London.

The newspaper said Britain's eavesdropping agency, the General Communications Headquarters or GCHQ, hacked into the phones and computers of Turkish and South African delegates at the summit. It said the GCHQ also tricked some G-20 delegates into using Internet cafes that it secretly modified to intercept diplomatic communications.

The Guardian published redacted versions of some of the documents, but their authenticity could not be immediately confirmed. Their release coincided with Britain hosting the first day of a Group of Eight industrialized nations summit in Northern Ireland.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More