NSA Chief: Surveillance Helped Stop ‘Dozens’ of Attacks.
China remained tight-lipped Thursday about its stance on NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who is believed to be holed up in a safe house somewhere in the semiautonomous territory of Hong Kong, CNN informs.
Snowden provided fresh fuel Wednesday for the controversy he has sparked, telling a Hong Kong newspaper that U.S. intelligence agents have been hacking networks around the world for years, including hundreds of computers in China.
In the interview with the South China Morning Post, he also said he plans to stay in Hong Kong to fight any attempt to force him to return to the United States because he has “faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law.” His comments come as the FBI is investigating his case.
His presence in the southern Chinese territory, which has a separate system of government from the mainland, has raised questions about how an effort by the U.S. government to extradite him would unfold, and what role Beijing might play in the process. But China’s first official comment on the matter gave away no clues.
“We have no information to offer at the moment,” a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, said in response to a question about Snowden at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Thursday. She repeated the same answer to several follow-up questions.
The head of the National Security Agency told a U.S. congressional panel on Wednesday that dozens of terrorist attacks have been prevented thanks to a recently revealed surveillance program that has raised concerns about privacy, the Voice of America reports.
Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, appeared before a Senate panel looking into cybersecurity threats.
But a number of senators appeared more concerned about a secret surveillance program that has been mining Americans’ telephone and Internet data.