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How China’s surveillance state was a mirror to the US for Edward Snowden
South China Morning Post ^ | September 17, 2019 | Shi Jiangtao

Posted on 09/17/2019 7:51:03 AM PDT by PGR88

American whistle-blower Edward Snowden said Beijing’s use of technology to control its citizens and electronically track US targets prompted him to investigate and then expose Washington’s mass surveillance programme. In his book "Permanent Record," published on Wednesday, the former US spy agency contractor who now lives in exile in Russia, detailed how he fled to Hong Kong and then Moscow after creating one of the most serious security breaches in American history.

Snowden, who was a technician subcontracted to the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency for seven years, said he began to have suspicions about secret post-September 11 US surveillance programmes after he was asked in 2009 to brief a conference in Tokyo on how Chinese spy agencies were targeting the US intelligence community.

Preparing for the briefing, Snowden said he became aware that China’s surveillance of private communications was “utterly mind-boggling”. He was initially “so impressed by the system’s sheer achievement and audacity that I almost forgot to be appalled by its totalitarian controls”, he said.

He then began to feel disturbed when he realised that America, an internet and software power, might have done similar things to its people and the world. “There was simply no way for America to have so much information about what the Chinese were doing without having done some of the very same things itself, and I had the sneaking sense while I was looking through all this China material that I was looking at a mirror and seeing a reflection of America,” he said.

“What China was doing publicly to its own citizens, America might be – could be – doing secretly to the world.”

Snowden flew to Hong Kong on May 20, 2013, after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii. While in the city, he leaked thousands of classified NSA documents, revealing the global surveillance apparatus run by the United States on China, Russia and many of America’s close allies as well as a mass surveillance programme collecting the phone records of unsuspecting Americans.

The US government charged Snowden on June 14, 2013, under the Espionage Act, and requested his extradition on June 21. Two days later, he flew to Moscow.

Snowden said he was forced to leave Hong Kong because the city’s government resisted any United Nations efforts to grant him protection there. “The Hong Kong government, under Chinese pressure or not, resisted any UN effort at affording me international protection on its territory,” he said. “In other words, Hong Kong was telling me to go home and deal with the UN from prison. I wasn’t just on my own – I was unwelcome. If I was going to leave freely, I had to leave now.”

Hong Kong’s extradition treaty with the US stipulates that it cannot surrender a suspect accused of offences that would not be crimes under Hong Kong law. The treaty also allows a suspect to walk free if charges are ruled by Hong Kong’s courts to be politically motivated.

Hong Kong government’s decision to allow Snowden to leave “on his own accord” angered the Washington, which accused the city authorities of deliberating releasing a fugitive.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post in 2013, Snowden said the NSA had been hacking computers in Hong Kong and mainland China since 2009. None of the documents revealed any information about Chinese military systems, he said.

Among the targets in Hong Kong, according to Snowden, were university and public officials, businesses and students. The documents also pointed to hacking activity by the NSA against mainland targets.

In the book, he said he sought refuge in Hong Kong first, after initially excluding Russia, China, Africa Latin America and the Middle East, because the city had “a vibrant media and protest culture, not to mention largely unfiltered Internet”.

“[It was] the closest I could get to no man’s land,” he wrote. “It was an oddity, a reasonably liberal world city whose nominal autonomy would distance me from China and restrain Beijing’s ability to take public action against me or the journalists – at least immediately – but whose de facto existence in Beijing’s sphere of influence would reduce the possibility of unilateral US intervention.

“In a situation with no promise of safety, it was enough to have the guarantee of time. Chances were that things weren’t going to end well for me, anyway: the best I could hope for was getting the disclosures out before I was caught.” He said he did not leave his hotel room in Tsim Sha Tsui, where he broke his stories to reporters from the Guardian and The Washington Post, “for fear of giving a foreign spy the chance to sneak in and bug the place”.

He then moved to live with some asylum seekers for about two weeks before boarding a commercial flight Moscow with the help of WikiLeaks.

According to Snowden, he did not find out his passport had been revoked by the US State Department until he arrived in Moscow, which made it impossible for him to buy another ticket to get to Ecuador.

Snowden insisted in the book that he “wiped my four laptops completely clean and destroyed the cryptographic key, which meant that I could no longer access any of the documents even if compelled”.

In an interview with American broadcaster CBS on Monday, Snowden said his ultimate goal was to return to the US as long as he could get a fair trial. “But if I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom line demand that we have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial,” he said.

TOPICS: Conspiracy; Society
KEYWORDS: 2013; 201305; bookdeals; booksales; cbs; china; comey; communist; edwardsnowden; espionage; germany; hawaii; iran; leaker; macmillan; macmillanpublishers; mccabe; nsa; snowden; snowdenbook; spies; spooks; theguardian; waronthensa; washingtonpost
Commercial Photography
1 posted on 09/17/2019 7:51:03 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: PGR88

I had the sneaking sense while I was looking through all this China material that I was looking at a mirror and seeing a reflection of America,”

2 posted on 09/17/2019 7:53:32 AM PDT by gaijin
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To: PGR88

3 posted on 09/17/2019 7:57:49 AM PDT by gaijin
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To: PGR88

IIRC it was Maxine Waters who can’t keep her mouth shut about anything was allowed to learn about all this several years ago. She was satisfied with just knowing about it and she wasn’t even satisfied with telling us about it. She THREATENED us with it. Maybe it’s a good thing she is so stupid.

4 posted on 09/17/2019 7:57:52 AM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: wastoute
"An da Prez..?! You know wha he do..?!"

"...He done put in place a dataplace bigger den da hole history of da werl, y'all..! SEREY ESS..!"

5 posted on 09/17/2019 8:05:49 AM PDT by gaijin
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To: gaijin

6 posted on 09/17/2019 8:10:22 AM PDT by gaijin
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To: PGR88

4th Amendment?? What’s THAT?

One only need look to the (R)N(C)’s ‘baby’: NSA

7 posted on 09/17/2019 8:55:56 AM PDT by i_robot73 (One could not count the number of *solutions*, if only govt followed\enforced the Constitution.)
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To: PGR88

bump for later

8 posted on 09/17/2019 11:50:46 AM PDT by Albion Wilde (It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it. --Douglas MacArthur)
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To: PGR88

Interesting, but not surprising. Snowden’s book deal comes from MacMillan, the same company behind St Martin’s Press that is publishing Andrew McCabe’s book.

9 posted on 09/17/2019 12:26:45 PM PDT by piasa (')
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To: piasa

McMillan’s a subsidiary of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group of Stuttgart, Germany.

It just so happens James Comey’s book is published by
Flatiron Books... which also is an imprint of Macmillan...of Holtzbrinck Publishing of Stuttgart Germany.

10 posted on 09/17/2019 12:29:39 PM PDT by piasa (')
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To: PGR88

Germany has been Iran’s best buddy since Merkel came along...

Snowden Slams Amazon for Doing the Trump Admin’s Bidding

Aug 07, 2019 · Edward Snowden tweeted a warning to Amazon’s AWS division this morning regarding a recent decision to ban all of Iran from the platform. Amazon kicks Iran off AWS, Snowden responds An American company, Amazon is forbidden from doing most types of business with the hermit kingdom of Iran.
Author: P. H. Madore

11 posted on 09/17/2019 12:45:58 PM PDT by piasa (')
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