Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Edward Snowden has revealed the NSA has been hacking computers since 2009, including computers in China. “Snowden said that according to unverified documents seen by the Post, the NSA had been hacking computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland since 2009. None of the documents revealed any information about Chinese military systems, he said.”
Snowden estimated more than 61,000 operations globally. “We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” he said. “Last week the American government happily operated in the shadows with no respect for the consent of the governed, but no longer. Every level of society is demanding accountability and oversight.”
Releasing the previously classified information “demonstrated the hypocrisy of the US government when it claims that it does not target civilian infrastructure, unlike its adversaries.”
Asked about asylum, Snowden claimed the US was bullying other countries. “All I can do is rely on my training and hope that world governments will refuse to be bullied by the United States into persecuting people seeking political refuge.” As to whether he had been offered asylum from Russia, he responded, “My only comment is that I am glad there are governments that refuse to be intimidated by great power.”
The South China Morning Post has been gradually releasing parts of an hour-long interview with Snowden over the course of the day.