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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Foreign minister: China a 'major victim' of cyber attacks

by - China Correspondent

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying refused to be drawn on the specifics of how an extradition battle would be dealt with between Beijing and Hong Kong.

However, she took the chance to respond to claims made by Edward Snowden; that China was targeted by the NSA spying programme.

She told reporters "...as we have repeatedly said China is one of the major victims" [of cyber attacks], adding that China was "opposed to all forms of cyber and hacker attacks".

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."

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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.

Read: Thousands sign US 'whistleblower pardon' petition

More: Snowden threatened with prosecution after 'damaging' disclosures

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

Read: Hague: Snooping claim 'baseless'

Snowden advised to leave Hong Kong

Regina Ip warned Snowden Hong Kong was 'duty bound' to honour bilateral agreements with the US
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."

Read: Hiding in plain sight, whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong King

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