Edward Snowden Departs Hong Kong, Hong Kong Asks U.S. for Clarification on Spying, U.S. Worried About Hong Kong's Commitment to the Rule of Law
Reportedly headed to Moscow
Edward Snowden, who leaked information to the press about the NSA's massive telephone and digital spying operations, was charged by the U.S. government on Friday for spying. The U.S. sought to extradite Snowden from Hong Kong and they wanted to do it quickly. A Reuters article that came out about a couple of hours ago quotes an anonymous U.S. official saying that "[i]f 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."
Hong Kong has now responded to the U.S request for extradition by letting the U.S. know it did not provide sufficient information to warrant preventing Edward Snowden from leaving the island, and that that's what he's done. Additionally, the government of Hong Kong says it has formally asked the U.S. for "clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies." You can read the Hong Kong government's press release here.
Reports indicate Snowden is bound for Russia, which previously offered him asylum, at least for now, but according to an Agence France-Presse tweet Russia says it has no knowledge of his impending arrival.
More Reason on Edward Snowden here. More on the previous six people charged by the Obama administration for leaks here.
UPDATE: Wikileaks says via Twitter it's assisted Snowden in gaining asylum to a "democratic country" and that he's over Russian airspace with Wikileaks legal advisors on the plane.