Public Opinion Split Over Ex-CIA Man Hiding in Hong Kong

Created: 2013-06-11 14:26 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

The whereabouts of the contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA) who leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance programs, remained unclear on Tuesday (June 11).

Edward Snowden, 29, dropped out of sight in Hong Kong on Monday ,(June 10) ahead of a likely push by the U.S. government to have him sent back to the U.S. to face charges.

Snowden gave the information for published reports last week, revealing the NSA's broad monitoring of phone calls and Internet data from large companies such as Google and Facebook.

Snowden checked out of his Hong Kong hotel hours later, before going public in a video released on Sunday (June 9) by Britain's Guardian newspaper.

Snowden told the Guardian that he went to Hong Kong in hopes to resist U.S. prosecution attempts, although the former British colony has an extradition treaty with the United States.

Some Hong Kong residents say an American hiding in Chinese territory is unheard of.

[Raymond Lau, Phone Salesman]:
"The strangest thing is that in Hong Kong, we think Chinese people hiding in foreign countries and seeking asylum is something normal, but on the other hand, in our minds it's rather strange that a foreigner seeks shelter in Hong Kong. We would seldom think of foreigners doing this."

The disclosures by Snowden have sent shockwaves across Washington.

Several lawmakers called on Monday for the extradition and prosecution of the ex-CIA employee.

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