Snowden: NSA Has Been Hacking China Since 2009

Agency has had 61K targets globally
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2013 6:03 AM CDT
Snowden: NSA Has Been Hacking China Since 2009
A picture of Edward Snowden is displayed on the front page of South China Morning Post at a news stand in Hong Kong Thursday, June 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Edward Snowden is still in Hong Kong, where he's making more claims about NSA practices: In an interview with the South China Morning Post, he says the agency has been hacking systems in China and Hong Kong since 2009. "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," he says. Among hundreds of targets in the region is the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he notes, as well as local officials, businesses, and students; the documents he accessed make no mention of Chinese military systems, notes Snowden.

Snowden says the NSA has conducted more than 61,000 hacking efforts worldwide, citing "the hypocrisy of the US government when it claims that it does not target civilian infrastructure, unlike its adversaries." The US "is so afraid of this being known that it is willing to use any means, such as diplomatic intimidation, to prevent this information from becoming public." As for his own safety, Snowden says the US is "bullying" Hong Kong to extradite him—but he'll stay "until I am asked to leave." Should that come to pass, a heads up that the UK doesn't want him: The AP reports that the British government has instructed UK-bound carriers not to allow Snowden to board because "the individual is highly likely to be refused entry to the UK." (Read more Edward Snowden stories.)

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