News / USA

NSA Leaker Snowden Leaves Hong Kong

People cross a street in front of a monitor showing file footage of Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), with a news tag (L) saying he has left Hong Kong, outside a shopping mall in Hong Kong, June 23, 2013.
People cross a street in front of a monitor showing file footage of Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), with a news tag (L) saying he has left Hong Kong, outside a shopping mall in Hong Kong, June 23, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The South China Morning Post is reporting that U.S. whistle-blower Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on a flight to Moscow, heading to a third destination.

The paper said the Aeroflot flight carrying the former National Security Agency contractor left Hong Kong Sunday morning and is scheduled to arrive in Moscow after 5 p.m. (1400 UTC).  

Various media reports have said that Snowden could take refuge in either Iceland or Ecuador.  A spokesman for Iceland's Interior Ministry told VOA Friday that Snowden has not formally applied for asylum, and that such requests would need to come from someone who is already in that country.

On Saturday, White House officials said Washington had asked Hong Kong to extradite Snowden, who is facing espionage charges for exposing secret U.S. surveillance programs.

National Security Adviser Tom Donilon cited an extradition treaty and historically good diplomatic ties with the semi-autonomous Chinese city and said, "We expect them [Hong Kong authorities] to comply with the treaty in this case."  But the Hong Kong government said Sunday that the extradition request did not fully comply with legal requirements.

Earlier Saturday, a senior administration official warned that any failure on the part of Hong Kong to act on the U.S. request will "complicate our bilateral relations."

The White House pressure came less than 24 hours after U.S. prosecutors unsealed a criminal complaint Friday charging Snowden with espionage and the theft of government property.

The secret NSA documents leaked to reporters earlier this month show the agency and other U.S. intelligence units have gathered data for years about patterns of telephone and Internet use at home and abroad.

Snowden says his actions were based on a belief that it is important to reveal massive surveillance of private citizens.

Senior U.S. officials say the surveillance does not monitor phone conversations, but looks for patterns in the metadata, including information on the time, date and numbers called.

Authorities say those measures have prevented at least 50 terrorist plots worldwide since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.  They also say Snowden's actions have weakened their ability to foil future plots.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid