News / USA

Snowden Vows to Stay in Hong Kong

An interview of Edward Snowden by the South China Morning Post newspaper (top) and a website supporting Snowden in Hong Kong, are displayed on a computer screen in Hong Kong in this June 12, 2013 illustration photo.
An interview of Edward Snowden by the South China Morning Post newspaper (top) and a website supporting Snowden in Hong Kong, are displayed on a computer screen in Hong Kong in this June 12, 2013 illustration photo.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Edward Snowden, the man who leaked details of the U.S. government's secret monitoring of telephone calls and the Internet, says he plans to stay in Hong Kong and fight any U.S. effort to extradite him to face possible criminal charges.

The 29-year-old Snowden told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday that his intention "is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate."

Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the U.S. and has turned over some fugitives to the American government in recent years. But China retains the authority to block extraditions from its Hong Kong territory if it considers the allegations against suspects to be political.

Snowden said that people who think he made a mistake in traveling to Hong Kong before identifying himself as the source of the leaks about the surveillance programs "misunderstand my intentions." He told the newspaper, "I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality."

With his revelation of the secret monitoring, a lively debate is underway in the U.S. about how Snowden should be viewed.

He told the newspaper, "I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American."

The U.S. government has acknowledged that in its fight against terrorism the National Security Agency has collected vast information about telephone calls, but says it has not listened to conversations. It also says it has monitored foreign use of the Internet through networks owned by major U.S. Internet companies.

Three of the world's biggest technology companies, U.S.-based Google, Facebook and Microsoft, are asking the Obama administration to let them reveal details of federal court orders to turn over information about their users to U.S. spy agencies.  The companies say they want everything transparent and out in the open.

Snowden, a former NSA contractor, revealed details about the Internet and telephone surveillance to the The Guardian newspaper in Britain and The Washington Post. He said it is important to reveal what he says is the government's massive surveillance program on private citizens.

The U.S. government says information gathered by the NSA has foiled terrorist plots. The Justice Department is considering possible criminal charges against Snowden.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging whether the NSA spy program is constitutional. The ACLU argues that the spying violates the rights to free speech and privacy. An ACLU attorney says the U.S. Constitution does not let the government carry out unsuspected surveillance of every person in the country.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid