US spy data 'halted terror plots'

The director of the National Security Agency has told a US senate hearing said that the leaked American surveillance programmes have helped to prevent "dozens" of potential terrorist attacks.

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Hague: US-UK intelligence sharing 'strongest in world'

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the "intelligence sharing relationship between the UK and US is unique and the strongest in the world and contributes to the security of both countries"

William Hague and John Kerry at a joint news conference. Credit: RTV

Answering a question on NSA surveillance, he said that intelligence gathering was "based on the framework of law."

Hague added that there "couldn't be two more trusted partners" on intelligence sharing in the world.

Earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry defended NSA surveillance, saying that "members of Congress passed all of this" and added that they had "voted for this several times."

Snowden: I am neither traitor nor hero

NSA leaker Edward Snowden has told a newspaper in Hong Kong he does not consider himself a hero or a traitor, in his first interview since blowing his cover.

Weighing in on the fierce debate his revelations have ignited and the praise and condemnation he has received worldwide he said:

I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American.


Snowden vows to fight extradition from Hong Kong

NSA leaker Edward Snowden has spoken for the first time since revealing his identity to The Guardian. In an interview with The South China Morning Post, he defended his decision to flee to Hong Kong and vowed to fight extradition. Speaking to reporter Lana Lam he said:

People who think I made a mistake in picking HK as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality.

My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate. I have been given no reason to doubt your system.

Google urges US over role on online spying programme

Google has sent a letter to the Department of Justice and the FBI asking permission to make public the national security requests it has received.

A section of the letter reads:

Assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests gives the US government unfettered access to our users' data are simply untrue.

However, government nondisclosure obligations regarding the number of FISA national security requests that Google receives, as well as the number of accounts covered by those requests, fuel that speculation.

– David Drummond, Google chief legal officer

Snowden advised to leave Hong Kong

Regina Ip warned Snowden Hong Kong was 'duty bound' to honour bilateral agreements with the US Credit: Reuters

Edward Snowden was advised to leave Hong Kong by a leading politician who stressed the former British colony was not a "legal vacuum."

Regina Ip, chair of the pro-Beijing New People's Party and former security secretary, warned that Hong Kong was "duty bound" by its legal obligations to the United States. Speaking to Reuters, Mrs Ip said:

"I think it would be wisest for him to leave Hong Kong, because we do have bilateral agreements with the US and we are duty bound to honour these agreements. Hong Kong is not a legal vacuum, as Mr Snowden may have thought."

Snowden's whereabouts is currently unclear. Snowden said he chose Hong Kong as the people have a "spirited commitment to freedom and the right of political dissent."

Nearly 40,000 sign US whistleblower 'pardon' petition

A petition posted on the White House website, calling for an immediate pardon of US whistleblower Edward Snowden, has gathered nearly 40,000 signatures.

The former technical worker at the CIA and America's National Security Agency was revealed by the Guardian as being behind leaks of secret US government surveillance programmes.

The petition on the White House website Credit: The White House
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