BBC: NSA Whistleblower 'Disappears' In Hong Kong

Where is NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden?

The BBC reports:

"An ex-CIA employee who leaked details of US top-secret phone and internet surveillance has disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong.

Edward Snowden, 29, checked out from his hotel on Monday and his whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be still in Hong Kong."

"Hong Kong's broadcaster RTHK said Mr Snowden checked out of the Mira hotel in Kowloon on Monday, and Reuters news agency quoted hotel staff as saying that he had left at noon.

Ewen MacAskill, one of the Guardian journalists who broke the story, told the BBC he believed Mr Snowden was still in Hong Kong."

“He didn’t have a plan," MacAskill told Reuters. "He thought out in great detail leaking the documents and then deciding rather than being anonymous, he’d go public. So he thought that out in great detail. But his plans after that have always been vague,” MacAskill said.

“I’d imagine there’s now going to be a real battle between Washington and Beijing and civil rights groups as to his future,” MacAskill said. “He’d like to seek asylum in a friendly country but I’m not sure if that’s possible or not.”

Snowden, 29, who leaked details of a top-secret phone and internet surveillance program said he chose to go to Hong Kong because of its “strong tradition of free speech.”

“The only thing I can do is sit here and hope the Hong Kong government does not deport me,” Snowden told The Guardian.

The National Post reports that Hong Kong law enforcement suggested in a statement that "Snowden would be wise to leave the city":

"Snowden reportedly checked out of a downtown Hong Kong hotel on Monday. His subsequent whereabouts were not immediately known, but a top-ranking official in Hong Kong law enforcement suggested in a statement that Snowden would be wise to leave the city."

"Hong Kong is “obliged to comply with the terms of agreements” with the U.S. government, including extraditing fugitives, said Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing lawmaker who was once the city’s top security official."

“It’s actually in his best interest to leave Hong Kong,” Ip said. “Hong Kong is definitely not a safe harbour for him.”

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the story of the NSA’s widespread spying program, has said there are “significant revelations” still to come from the documents leaked to him by Edward Snowden. “There are dozens of stories from the documents he provided, and we intend to pursue every one of them.”

Hopefully, Greenwald will be pursuing those stories from a secure location.


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