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NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Seeks Asylum In Ecuador

Story By: Larry Stine



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  Original Published: 6/24/2013  Edward Snowden is no longer in hiding in Hong Kong.    And to the chagrin of the U.S. government, his next destination is not into the custody of federal agents.   Snowden has admitted leaking classified information to the press on clandestine surveillance programs.   His passport has now been revoked, and American officials are asking other governments to shut their doors to him.   Snowden's apparent free movement has also raised complaints from some officials about China and Russia.   Elizabeth Corridan reports.   Escaping U.S. efforts to have him sent back home to face criminal charges, Edward Snowden left Hong Kong for Moscow on Sunday.   The 30-year-old former National Security Agency contractor is accused by U.S. officials of leaking classified information related to government programs on phone and Internet surveillance.   The allegations amount to espionage under federal law.   News that Snowden was in Vladimir Putin's Russia, and not on American soill in handcuffs, drew immediate ire from some lawmakers.   "Allies are supposed to treat each other in decent ways, and Putin always seems almost eager to put a finger in the eye of the United States," says Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.   Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's organization says Snowden plans to seek asylum in Ecuador.   "Latin America has snow in the past 10 years it is really pushing forward in human rights," says Assange.   In purported online postings, Snowden says President Obama has allowed government surveillance programs to flourish, instead of curtailing them like he promised as a candidate.   Meanwhile, the NSA leadership was asked, what's to stop others with security clearences from leaking sensitive information?   "We have to trust our people will do the right thing," says NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander. "Mission, defending the country. When they betray that trust, go to the department of justice and others for action."   Hong Kong claims an extradition request from the U.S. for Snowden did not fully meet its legal requirements.   In Washington, D.C., Justice Department officials strongly disputed that claim.   The White House says President Obama is being briefed on the developments on Snowden.
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