With Snowden Gone, Hong Kong Focuses on U.S. Surveillance
By Keith Bradsher, NY Times, June 26, 2013
HONG KONG—The abrupt departure from Hong Kong on Sunday of Edward J. Snowden, the American former national security contractor, with the explicit approval of the Hong Kong government, has drawn the ire of the United States. But in Hong Kong the focus remains on Mr. Snowden’s exposure of American intelligence-gathering operations in Hong Kong and mainland China.
Leung Chun-ying, the territory’s chief executive, has called repeatedly for the United States to explain its surveillance activities here, brushing aside White House criticism that Mr. Snowden was allowed to fly to Moscow despite a pending American request for his arrest.
"Snowden has left, but the matter is not over," Mr. Leung said at a tea with local journalists on Tuesday, the contents of which were confirmed on Wednesday by the government. "The Hong Kong government needs to safeguard the interests of Hong Kong."
Mr. Snowden’s release of documents showing American efforts to hack into computers in Hong Kong and mainland China has drawn support not just from pro-Beijing groups in this semi-autonomous Chinese territory, but from pro-democracy groups that have long looked to the United States as an example of strong protections for civil liberties.
Security experts and democracy proponents say that mainland China’s domestic surveillance operations in Hong Kong are far more extensive than the American effort. But those operations have largely disappeared from public discussion as attention has focused on the many details released by Mr. Snowden.