Edward Snowden talks to the South China Morning Post

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has given an interview to the South China Morning Post, which the paper is dribbling out in a series (1, 2) of articles. Thus far, we know:

* He intends to release more leaks

* He will fight extradition to the USA

* He affirms his belief in Hong Kong's commitment to free speech and the rule of law

On this last point: keen observers of Hong Kong's political situation disagree, among them Peter Bouckaert from Human Rights Watch, who says he believes that the HK authorities cooperate with the CIA on various programs.

More as it emerges.


  1. I have to say I think Snowden has a better assessment of things that Mr. Bouckeart.  There are risks to being in Hong Kong but with the Chinese Government overshadowing things and the publicity surrounding him, an abduction (as in the case of al-Saandi) seems unlikely and embarrassing  to Beijing. How often does China get a blatant arena to take the moral high ground on such issues. 

    1. I’ve noticed that most governments tend to be champions of free speech… for people in other countries.

  2. He’d better be careful – the leading method of suicide in Hong Kong is jumping off balconies. 

    1. It’s ok in 50-100 years time we will get to see the footage taken by the US, Chinese, and other agents busy filming the event and each other.

  3. I hope for his sake he’s got some kind of a dead-man switch that will trigger a huge document dump if he goes missing.

    1. He couldn’t figure out how to email a PowerPoint deck to 1,000 people, so I wouldn’t bet on it. 

      1.  Whatever else he is or does, I have no doubt he has planned this in some detail.  Given that gmail has the ability to do exactly that kind of deadman switch, it isn’t as if he has to be some kind of uberhacker to set it up.

        I’m no hacker and it would take me at most 3 hours to set up a document dump in the event of my death (not that I have any docs anyone wants, but the point remains).  If that is his plan, I am sure he has done it.

        1. Yeah I wouldn’t be relying on google for this one. Maybe a virtual private server in Europe, with a cron table he updates by hand every week, which invokes a call to qmail-inject

      2.  Why would he email a deck to a 1,000 people? You realize that giving it to SPECIFIC REPORTERS was kind of his goal, right? It wasn’t simply a matter of “put it on the internet, tell people.” He wanted it spread through the official news media.

        1. Precisely.  He’s a planner. He planned every detail.  What he collected, who he gave what to, who is getting the next pieces, who he talks to and when, where he goes and when, yadda yadda.  I’m sure he has legal representation lined up and the ability to pay them safe from clutching hands.  I’m curious what surprises he has in store for us next.

  4. “Peter Bouckaert from Human Rights Watch, who says he believes that the
    HK authorities cooperate with the CIA on various programs.

    I read the Takei story, then the last word there as “pogroms”.

    I really hope the Western world grows up within my lifetime.

  5. Wouldn’t it be choice if he was talking to the South China Post from Norway or Morocco or somewhere?

  6. I read something to the effect that a court recently ordered the HK government to come up with new procedures for asylum seekers, so they can’t actually extradite him until the new procedures are in place, and then they’ll still have to go through all the appeals of whatever process they can send him back.

  7. I think it’s a mistake for him to employ the Chinese press.  Appearances matter here, and he needs to be seen acting as an American patriot because he cares about America*, not because he wants to tear it down.  I think he should stick with the Guardian, the Washington Post, and whatever other American-seeming outlets will give him a fair hearing. 

     (* The America that could and should be, the America that we hold as an ideal, not the one we actually have had for the last decade.)

  8. Editing this: “He affirms his belief in China’s commitment to free speech and the rule of law ” = L.O.L.

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