08-16-2018  11:04 am      •     
By Jethro Mullen and Michael Pearson CNN
Published: 12 June 2013



HONG KONG (CNN) -- The man who shook the U.S. intelligence community by leaking details of secret surveillance programs is believed to be staying in a "safe house," the British newspaper that worked with him reported Wednesday.

Edward Snowden, 29, checked out of his Hong Kong hotel room Monday as journalists in the city began to figure out where he was staying from a video interview published online the day before, The Guardian said.

"It is thought he is now in a safe house," wrote Ewen MacAskill, one of the Guardian journalists who helped develop articles from the information Snowden leaked. The report didn't specify where the safe house was and MacAskill didn't immediately respond to a call seeking further details. 
Snowden defends his decision

As Snowden tries to stay out of the spotlight, U.S. authorities are preparing charges against him, a law enforcement source told CNN on Tuesday. But the charges are not imminent, the source said.

As authorities investigated, one U.S. congressman told CNN that journalists who published the leaked information should be punished.

And the first civil lawsuits were filed against federal officials, arguing that the surveillance programs are unconstitutional.

Snowden, a former computer security contractor, acknowledged in a Guardian newspaper interview that he gave journalists classified documents about U.S. surveillance of telephone and Internet traffic.

The FBI has been investigating the leaks, but it was unclear Tuesday how far along the agency was.

Snowden told the Guardian that he expects to be charged under the Espionage Act and said he traveled to Hong Kong in hopes that state's commitment to free speech would prevent his extradition to the United States.

Legal experts have said that Hong Kong's bilateral treaties with the United States may make it hard for Snowden to avoid eventually being sent back from the semiautonomous Chinese territory. But some have suggested that any court battle to extradite him could be very drawn out.

Call to prosecute journalists

Debate over Snowden's actions and the surveillance programs he exposed has continued to rage.

On Tuesday, one lawmaker told CNN's AC360 that journalists tied to the leaks should also be prosecuted.

"If they willingly knew that this was classified information, I think actions should be taken, especially on something of this magnitude," said Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican who leads the House Homeland Security subcommittee on Counterintelligence and Terrorism.

"There is an obligation both moral, but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security," he said. "As a practical matter, I guess there have been in the past several years a number of reporters who have been prosecuted under (the Espionage Act)."

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian columnist who was the lead writer of the articles based on Snowden's disclosures, said Monday that as an American citizen, he is guaranteed freedom of the press by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

"I intend to take the Constitution at its word and continue to do my job as a journalist," he said.

As for Snowden, King said there's no doubt he should face charges.

"I think what he's done has been incredible damage to our country. It's going to put American lives at risk," he said.

The congressman did not provide specific examples of how the leaked information damaged national security, but argued that it helps enemies of the United States.

But others, including liberal activist and filmmaker Michael Moore and conservative commentator Glenn Beck, have said Snowden is a hero for revealing the secret programs.

Security and privacy

His disclosures have fueled new debate about the U.S. government's collection of records of domestic telephone calls and overseas Internet activity in the global hunt for terrorists and criminals.

Civil liberties advocates say the measures are unacceptable intrusions. But supporters say they are legal and have yielded evidence that has helped stop terror plots.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that the measures "strike a balance between our security interest and our desire for privacy."

But Snowden disputed that argument while speaking with Guardian journalists on Sunday, MacAskill reported. He described "the very idea of a trade-off as a fundamental assault on the U.S. constitution," according to the Guardian article.

At least two civil lawsuits have been filed so far against federal officials, arguing that the collection of phone records is unconstitutional and calling for a judge to block the measure.

"The practice is akin to snatching every American's address book -- with annotations detailing whom we spoke to, when we talked, for how long, and from where," the American Civil Liberties Union and several other groups said in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

A Philadelphia couple who allege they were singled out for electronic surveillance because of their criticism of the U.S. military filed a $3 billion class-action lawsuit, claiming their privacy and free speech rights were compromised.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the lawsuits.

House members from both political parties Tuesday raised concerns with administration officials who briefed the entire chamber on the government's recently revealed top secret surveillance programs.

Jethro Mullen reported and wrote from Hong Kong and Michael Pearson reported and wrote from Atlanta. Brian Walker contributed to this report.

 

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • Newspapers from Maine to Hawaii pushed back against President Donald Trump's attacks on "fake news"Newspapers from Maine to Hawaii pushed back against President Donald Trump's attacks on "fake news" Thursday with a coordinated series of editorials speaking up for a free and vigorous press.The Boston Globe, which set the campaign in motion by urging the unified voice, had estimated that some 350 newspapers would participate.They did across the breadth of the country.The Portland (Maine) Press-Herald said a free and independent press is the best defense against tyranny, while the Honolulu Star-Advertiser emphasized democracy's need for a free press."The true enemies of the people — and democracy — are those who try to suffocate truth by vilifying and demonizing the messenger," wrote the Des Moines Register in Iowa.In St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch called journalists "the truest of patriots." The Chicago Sun-Times said it believed most Americans know that Trump is talking nonsense.The Fayetteville Observer said it hoped Trump would stop, "but we're not holding our breath.""Rather, we hope all the president's supporters will recognize what he's doing —  manipulating reality to get what he wants," the North Carolina newspaper said.On Thursday morning, Trump again took to Twitter to denounce "fake news."He wrote: "The Boston Globe, which was sold to the the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!"THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country....BUT WE ARE WINNING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018  That followed this tweet from the president: "THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country....BUT WE ARE WINNING!"The Morning News of Savannah, Georgia, said it was a confidant, not an enemy, to the people."Like any true friend, we don't always tell you want you want to hear," the Morning News said. "Our news team presents the happenings and issues in this community through the lens of objectivity. And like any true friend, we refuse to mislead you. Our reporters and editors strive for fairness."Some newspapers used history lessons to state their case. The Elizabethtown Advocate in Pennsylvania, for instance, compared free press in the United States to such rights promised but not delivered in the former Soviet Union.The New York Times added a pitch."If you haven't already, please subscribe to your local papers," said the Times, whose opinion section also summarized other editorials across the country."Praise them when you think they've done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We're all in this together."That last sentiment made some journalists skittish. Some newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote editorials explaining why they weren't joining the Globe's effort. The Chronicle wrote that one of its most important values is independence, and going along with the crowd went against that. Both the Chronicle and Baltimore Sun said that it plays into the hands of Trump and his supporters who think the media is out to get him.Nolan Finley, columnist and editorial page editor of The Detroit News, spoke up for the press but added a scolding. He said too many journalists are slipping opinion into their news reports, adding commentary and calling it context."Donald Trump is not responsible for the eroding trust in the media," Finley wrote. "He lacks the credibility to pull that off. The damage to our standing is self-inflicted."The Radio Television Digital News Association, which represents more than 1,200 broadcasters and web sites, is also asking its members to point out that journalists are friends and neighbors doing important work holding government accountable."I want to make sure that it is positive," said Dan Shelley, the group's executive director. "We're shooting ourselves in the foot if we make this about attacking the president or attacking his supporters."It remains unclear how much sway the effort will have. Newspaper editorial boards overwhelmingly opposed Trump's election in 2016. Polls show Republicans have grown more negative toward the news media in recent years: Pew Research Center said 85 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said in June 2017 that the news media has a negative effect on the country, up from 68 percent in 2010.
    Read More
  • The world mourns the death of Aretha Franklin who died today at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit.
    Read More
  • Omarosa viewed as "two-bit opportunist" for calling Trump a racist only after aligning herself with him 
    Read More
  • Seven ships filled with 176,000 tons of wheat have left Portland for Yemen
    Read More
  • It was a rare admission of fault for an administration that frequently skews data and overstates economic gains.
    Read More
  • PP&R activities scheduled outdoors are being moved indoors where feasible
    Read More
  • Trump tweeted a barrage of insults Tuesday morning as Manigault Newman continued promoting her White House tell-all
    Read More
  • Aretha Frankin, considered one of the greatest singers of all time, has fallen ill
    Read More
Oregon Convention Center Job Fair
Port of Seattle Tours
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Montavilla Jazzfest 2018
The Skanner Report