Update: NSA leaker Snowden seeks asylum in Ecuador
Hong Kong's government said Sunday Edward Snowden had left for a third country
IDG News Service - Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information about the country's surveillance programs, left Hong Kong Sunday to a third country.
Snowden left Hong Kong on his own accord for a third country through "a lawful and normal channel," despite an earlier request from the U.S. to Hong Kong for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against him, the Hong Kong government said in a statement Sunday. The Hong Kong authorities did not name the country Snowden was headed to.
Snowden is on a commercial flight to Russia, but Moscow will not be his final destination, the South China Morning Post reported. He flew to Hong Kong last month after leaving his job as a contractor at an NSA facility in Hawaii.
WikiLeaks said in a Twitter message Sunday that Snowden "is currently over Russian airspace accompanied by WikiLeaks legal advisors." The whistle-blower site has assisted Snowden's political asylum in a democratic country, travel papers and safe exit from Hong Kong, it said in another message.
Later on Sunday, Wikileaks issued a statement saying that Snowden is en route to Ecuador, where he will request asylum. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has revoked Snowden's passport, according to multiple media reports.
WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador in August last year, but is holed in the country's embassy in the U.K. because the U.K. police has refused to grant him passage to Quito, and threatens to arrest him in connection with an extradition request from Sweden where he is wanted for questioning on alleged sexual misconduct charges.
Snowden was charged by the U.S. in a federal court for theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person. The complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia was filed on June 14.
The former NSA contractor is said to have passed on documents to the Guardian and the Washington Post newspapers about large-scale surveillance programs in the U.S., including the collection of phone metadata of Verizon's customers in the U.S., and real-time access to the content on servers of Internet companies like Facebook and Google. The companies have denied their participation in the program.
The Hong Kong government said it had requested the U.S. government to provide additional information so that its department of justice could consider whether the request for a provisional warrant of arrest could meet the relevant legal conditions.
As Hong Kong has "yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong," the government said in the statement. Hong Kong said it had already informed the U.S. about Snowden's departure.
The Hong Kong special administrative region has also asked for clarification from the U.S. on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by U.S. government agencies. The government said it will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong. Snowden told the Post that the U.S. is hacking Chinese mobile phones companies to steal text messages, the newspaper reported Sunday. He had earlier alleged that the NSA had snooped on targets in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland, according to the newspaper.
(Juan Carlos Perez in Miami contributed to this report.)
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data
- HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard
- This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting
- This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle
- This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle. All Government IT White Papers
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- All Government IT Webcasts