WikiLeaks 'helps Snowden asylum'

WikiLeaks has claimed that it helped with US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden's "political asylum in a democratic country, travel papers and safe exit from Hong Kong".

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Assange urges countries to offer Snowden asylum

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has called for countries to step forward to offer asylum to National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Mr Assange said in a statement: "A few weeks ago, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on an ongoing programme - involving the Obama administration, the intelligence community and the internet services giants - to spy on everyone in the world.

Julian Assange speaks to the media inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

"As if by clockwork, he has been charged with espionage by the Obama administration.

"The US Government is spying on each and every one of us, but it is Edward Snowden who is charged with espionage for tipping us off.

"Let's be very careful about who we call 'traitor'. Edward Snowden is one of us.

"Tell your governments to step forward. Step forward and stand with Snowden".

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US tells Hong Kong to act soon or 'complicate relations'

The US has pressured Hong Kong to act soon on its request to extradite National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to face espionage charges, Reuters reported.

"If Hong Kong doesn't act soon, it will complicate our bilateral relations and raise questions about Hong Kong's commitment to the rule of law", a senior Obama administration official said.

US in 'Hong Kong talks' over Snowden extradition bid

US officials are speaking to authorities in Hong Kong in a bid to extradite National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, a White House advisor has told CBS News.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden is currently in Hong Kong. Credit: Guardian/Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras

"Our law enforcement officials are in conversation ... with the Hong Kong authorities at this point", outgoing White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon was quoted as saying.

Leaks show 'need for ministerial oversight of GCHQ'

The shadow foreign secretary said the leaks that suggest the GCHQ had tapped data cables "underlines the need" for ministerial oversight of intelligence agencies.

File photo of shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Douglas Alexander said: "The latest reports in the Guardian underline the need for effective parliamentary and ministerial oversight of GCHQ and our other intelligence agencies.

"Whilst GCHQ do vital work to keep us all safe from harm, it is also vital that they do so with the legal framework set down by Parliament, and with proper safeguards in place to protect people's privacy.

"We urged the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) to look into these issues raised by the Guardian, and their work is now under way.

"These latest reports reinforce the urgency and importance of the ISC's work on this issue."

Espionage charges filed against Snowden last week

The espionage charges filed against the surveillance scandal's whistleblower Edward Snowden were filed on June 14, the unsealed court document has shown.

The former National Security Agency contractor, who has admitted revealing secret spying programmes to the media, is accused of three offences:

  • Theft of government property.
  • Unauthorised communication of national defence information.
  • Willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorised person.

The latter two offences fall under the US Espionage Act and carry penalties of fines and up to 10 years in prison.

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