WASHINGTON/HONG KONG | Edward Snowden’s decision to flee to Hong Kong as he prepared to expose the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs may not save him from prosecution due to an extradition treaty in force since 1998.
A 29-year-old former CIA employee, Snowden has identified himself as the person who gave the Guardian and the Washington Post classified documents about how the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) obtained data from U.S. telecom and Internet companies.
While preparing his leaks, Snowden left Hawaii for Hong Kong on May 20 so he would be in a place that might be able to resist U.S. prosecution attempts, he told the Guardian.
“Mainland China does have significant restrictions on free speech but the people of Hong Kong have a long tradition of protesting in the streets, making their views known,” Snowden, a U.S. citizen, said in a video interview posted on the Guardian’s website.
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