Saturday, 29 June 2013

Ecuador cools on Edward Snowden asylum as Assange frustration grows

President Correa revokes Snowden's temporary travel document amid concerns WikiLeaks founder is 'running the show'


French hand back plundered bronzes to China

French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault on Friday handed back to China two rare bronzes plundered from Beijing's Old Summer Palace during the Second Opium War in 1860.

The Snowden affair: Whatever happened to the blame game?

Edward Snowden's revelations about top-secret U.S. surveillance programs and his globe-trotting flight from prosecution have created an international furore, but there is one place the outcry has been muted: Capitol Hill.


Is search for Snowden turning into sideshow?

Whisked out of a luxury Hong Kong hotel, vanishing into a mysterious wing of a Moscow airport, Edward Snowden’s continent-jumping, hide-and-seek game seems like the stuff of a pulp thriller — a desperate man’s drama played out before a worldwide audience trying to decide if he’s a hero or a villain.

Friday, 28 June 2013

U.S. request for Snowden arrest was ‘sloppy’

Lawmaker Ip Kwok-him, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the US government was “shameless” for heaping accusations against Hong Kong to dodge questions about cybersnooping in the city and on the mainland. “The US government is talking nonsense,” he said.

China accuses US of cyber security hypocrisy amid Snowden dispute

China accused the United States on Thursday of "double standards" and hypocrisy in the area of cyber security as tension flared between Beijing and Washington over the flight of fugitive former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

No reply from US on hacking claims disappointing, says security minister

Hong Kong’s security minister on Wednesday repeated calls by the government for the United States to clarify claims made by Edward Snowden that it had been hacking into computers in the city.

Request for Asylum from Edward J. Snowden

I, Edward Snowden, citizen of the United States of America, am writing to request asylum in the Republic of Ecuador because of the risk of being persecuted by the government of the United States and its agents in relation to my decision to make public serious violations on the part of the government of the United States of its Constitution, specifically of its Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and of various treaties of the United Nations that are binding on my country.

As a result of my political opinions, and my desire to exercise my freedom of speech, through which I’ve shown that the government of the United States is intercepting the majority of communications in the world, the government of the United States has publicly announced a criminal investigation against me. Also, prominent members of Congress and others in the media have accused me of being a traitor and have called for me to be jailed or executed as a result of having communicated this information to the public.

Some of the charges that have been presented against me by the Justice Department of the United States are connected to the 1917 Espionage Act, one of which includes life in prison among the possible sentences.

Ecuador granted asylum to the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, in relation to this investigation. My case is also very similar to that of the American soldier Bradley Manning, who made public government information through Wikileaks revealing war crimes, was arrested by the United States government and has been treated inhumanely during his time in prison. He was put in solitary confinement before his trial and the U.N. anti-torture representative judged that Mr. Manning was submitted to cruel and inhumane acts by the United States government.

The trial against Bradley Manning is ongoing now, and secret documents have been presented to the court and secret witnesses have testified.

I believe that, given these circumstances, it is unlikely that I would receive a fair trial or proper treatment prior to that trial, and face the possibility of life in prison or even death.

— Edward J. Snowden

‘Happy ending’ massages not considered prostitution by Chinese court

Are massage parlour “happy endings” illegal?


Hani terraces garner UNESCO status

The rice terraces of Yuanyang (元阳), which have been under continuous cultivation for thirteen centuries, were officially granted World Heritage status on June 22. The mountainous paddy fields in southeast Yunnan became the fifth such area to be recognized in the province.


Yuanyang's rice terraces

In US, Asian immigrants 'better off than whites'

Asian immigrants tend to live in highly segregated enclaves in the United States and their income level is often higher than that of white Americans, said a US study out Wednesday.


Japan dumbfounded by ex-PM over China island row claim

Japan's top government spokesman on Wednesday declared himself dumbfounded after a recent prime minister said he understood China's claim to islands at the centre of a bitter row between Tokyo and Beijing.


Hong Kong chief hits back in war of words on Snowden cyberspying claims

Chief executive says US must address Snowden’s hacking claims, as justice chief denies accusation that city stalled over request for fugitive’s arrest

Australian spy bosses brief government on possible Asian fallout over Snowden

Australia's main intelligence and spying agencies have briefed the government on the PRISM internet surveillance program amid fears former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden may release information damaging to Australia's relations with Asian neighbours, local media reported on Wednesday


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

China Brushes Aside U.S. Warnings on Snowden

She reiterated official Chinese criticism of the United States for public statements that have accused China of cyberattacks against American interests. “I’d like to advise these people to hold up a mirror, reflect and take care of their own situation first,” she said.

For Snowden, a Hasty Exit Started With Pizza Inside a Hong Kong Hideout

For Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has acknowledged leaking numerous documents about American surveillance operations around the world, the path to a sudden departure from Hong Kong late Sunday morning began over a dinner last Tuesday of a large pizza, fried chicken and sausages, washed down with Pepsi.

Snowden’s last 72 hours in Hong Kong: dramatic events prompted whistleblower’s flight

New details have emerged about Edward Snowden’s final days in Hong Kong, including the identity of the man who escorted the whistle-blower to Chep Lap Kok airport on Sunday morning to board a Moscow-bound flight.

Top China paper hits back at U.S. accusations on Snowden

China's top state newspaper praised fugitive U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden on Tuesday for "tearing off Washington's sanctimonious mask" and rejected accusations that it had facilitated his departure from Hong Kong.


China outsmarted US in Snowden chess game

China interceded to allow Edward Snowden’s dramatic flight from Hong Kong, calculating that infuriating the United States for now was necessary to prevent longer-term corrosion to their relationship, analysts and media said on Monday.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Snowden sought Booz Allen job to gather evidence on NSA surveillance

Edward Snowden tells the Post he took a job at NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton to collect proof of surveillance programme.

China Said to Have Made Call to Let Leaker Depart

The Chinese government made the final decision to allow Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, to leave Hong Kong on Sunday, a move that Beijing believed resolved a tough diplomatic problem even as it reaped a publicity windfall from Mr. Snowden’s disclosures, according to people familiar with the situation.

Key questions never asked in graft probe of ex-railways chief Liu Zhijun

Length of probe into Liu Zhijun indicated scale of misdeeds, but murky details of a web of corruption were not clarified in swift trial

Anti-graft campaign in China claims another big fish

A former vice-governor of Sichuan province, who for years was the aide of the Communist Party’s former top security official, has been placed under investigation.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Snowden leaves Hong Kong on Commercial Flight to Moscow

US whistle-blower Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong and is due to arrive in Moscow by this evening, the South China Morning Post can confirm.

The former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, who was last known to be hiding in Hong Kong, took off from the city’s airport at 10.55am on Sunday morning and was en route to Moscow’s Shermetyevo International Airport. He is scheduled to arrive at 5.15pm.

The Post was able to confirm that Snowden had been on an Aeroflot SU213 flight and headed to Moscow. Moscow will not be his final destination. Possible final destinations are either Iceland and Ecuador, according to previous media reports.

The Russian embassy in Beijing would neither confirm nor deny Snowden is on a flight to Moscow. The Russian consulate in Hong Kong declined to comment.

US to Hong Kong: Don't delay Snowden extradition


US hacked Pacnet, Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator, in 2009

According to information provided by Edward Snowden to the Post, computers owned by Pacnet in Hong Kong were attacked by the US National Security Agency in 2009, but the operation has since been shut down


NSA targeted China's Tsinghua University in extensive hacking attacks, says Snowden

Tsinghua University, widely regarded as the mainland’s top education and research institute, was the target of extensive hacking by US spies this year


US spies on Chinese mobile phone companies, steals SMS data: Edward Snowden

The US government is stealing millions of text messages in their hacking attacks on major Chinese mobile phone companies, Edward Snowden has told the Post


Snowden reveals more US cyberspying details

Text messages mined, while servers at Tsinghua University attacked


U.S. seeks Snowden's extradition, urges Hong Kong to act quickly

The United States said on Saturday it wants Hong Kong to extradite Edward Snowden and urged it to act quickly, paving the way for what could be a lengthy legal battle to prosecute the former National Security Agency contractor on espionage charges.


China fury at new Snowden claims as US seeks extradition

China on Sunday attacked the United States as an espionage "villain" after former spy Edward Snowden raised new allegations about the far-reaching extent of US cyber-snooping against Chinese targets.


US is 'biggest villain' for IT spying

The United States is the world’s “biggest villain” for IT espionage, China’s official media said on Sunday after new allegations of anti-Beijing snooping emerged.

US hacks Chinese mobile phone messages: Snowden

The United States government is hacking Chinese mobile phone companies to gather data from millions of text messages, former intelligence technician Edward Snowden told the South China Morning Post in a report published on Saturday.