National Security Agency (NSA) has been exposed again for its massive spying against people in the United States and around the world. Edward Snowden, 29, is being targeted by the Obama administration for prosecution., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Edward Snowden interview: 61,000 NSA hacking ops
By: Hadas Gold
June 12, 2013 02:29 PM EDT
The National Security Agency has more than 61,000 hacking operations globally, Edward Snowden claims in an interview with the English-language newspaper South China Morning Post.
“We hack network backbones — like huge Internet routers, basically — that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” the leaker, who is now a former NSA employee, said in an interview Tuesday night.
Snowden also told the newspaper the NSA had been hacking computers in Hong Kong and China since 2009 and that targets include The Chinese University of Hong Kong, public officials, businesses and students in the city.
“Last week, the American government happily operated in the shadows with no respect for the consent of the governed but no longer. Every level of society is demanding accountability and oversight,” Snowden added.
The newspaper reports the NSA leaker is holed up at a secret location in Hong Kong. The Guardian is reporting he is staying in a “safe house.”
“People who think I made a mistake in picking HK as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden said in the Post interview. “My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate. I have been given no reason to doubt your system.’’
Snowden said he plans to stay in Hong Kong until he is “asked to leave” but that he thinks the U.S. government is “trying to bully the Hong Kong government” into extraditing him.
“The U.S. government will do anything to prevent me from getting this into the public eye, which is why they are pushing so hard for extradition,” he said.
Snowden’s latest comments come after several lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), called the former defense contractor a “traitor” and have called for his arrest.
“I believe in freedom of expression,” Snowden told the Post. “I acted in good faith, but it is only right that the public form its own opinion.”