US urges Hong Kong to act soon on NSA whistleblower extradition – report

Protesters march to the US consulate during a protest in support of Edward Snowden from the US in Hong Kong (AFP Photo / Philippe Lopez)

“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 told the news agency.

Earlier, the outgoing White House National Security Adviser, Tom Donilon, said that Washington has already contacted Hong Kong on the issue of Snowdens extradition.

“Our law enforcement officials are in conversation… with the Hong Kong authorities at this point,” he told CBS News.

Former US National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, fled to Hong Kong after exposing secret US surveillance programs, including PRISM, which is alleged to harvest private user data through cooperation with such corporations as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

On June 21, the US federal prosecutors charged the whistleblower with espionage, theft and conversion of government property. They also reportedly contacted their colleagues in Hong Kong, requesting Snowdens detention on a provisional arrest warrant.

Chinese media meanwhile report that Snowden has not been taken into custody yet and is hiding in some safe place in Hong Kong.

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