PRISM Leaker Stirs US-China Cyber Feud
Edward Snowden, the source of the leaks about the US government’s PRISM cyber spying program, claimed this week that the US has been hacking computers in China for at least four years.
Snowden, who is now in hiding in Hong Kong – a Chinese-controlled territory – made the claims in an interview with the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post.
His remarks appear certain to fan the dispute between Washington and Beijing over US accusations that hackers within the Chinese military are targeting US networks.
The South China Morning Post quoted Snowden as saying that the National Security Agency had been hacking computers in Hong Kong and in mainland China since 2009. None of the documents revealed any information about Chinese military systems, he said.
“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 paper quoted the former CIA staffer as saying.
Snowden told the paper he would never feel safe after he leaked details of PRISM to The Guardian and The Washington Post. “All I can do is rely on my training and hope that world governments will refuse to be bullied by the US into persecuting people seeking political refuge,” he said.
“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions,” Snowden said. “I am not here to hide from justice, I am here to reveal criminality.”