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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid