11:07 AM

NSA Leaker Snowden On The Run

U.S. files charges against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is seeking asylum in Ecuador. To date, Hong Kong and Moscow have declined to detain him.

Snowden's Sunday travel from Hong Kong to Moscow followed the State Department issuing a request to "Western Hemisphere" countries through which Snowden might travel, the BBC reported. "The U.S. is advising these governments that Snowden is wanted on felony charges, and as such should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States," a U.S. state department official reportedly said.

Why wasn't Snowden detained in Hong Kong? Notably, the territory of China has a "surrender" agreement with the United States, which is different than extradition, which involves agreements between sovereign states. Furthermore, Hong Kong was informed that on June 15 the U.S issued a provisional arrest warrant for Snowden. On June 17, the government of Hong Kong acknowledged receipt of the U.S. government's request to detain Snowden, and two days later said the matter was under review.

Sunday, however, Hong Kong officials said Snowden departed "on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel." They declined to prevent him from traveling, saying that Washington's request to detain him was incomplete, and that there was no legal basis for doing so. According to the U.S. State Department, Snowden's U.S. passport was revoked Saturday, although authorities in Hong Kong may have been unaware of that revocation.

U.S. officials reacted with incredulity that Snowden hadn't been detained by Hong Kong authorities. "I had actually thought that China would see this as an opportunity to improve relations and extradite him to the United States," said Senate Intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein on CBS television. "China clearly had a role in this, in my view. I don't think this was just Hong Kong without Chinese acquiescence."

Then again, China may have been making a political statement: Snowden Sunday revealed that the NSA had been hacking into Chinese telecommunications carriers to intercept millions of subscribers' text messages.

2 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest September 7, 2015
Some security flaws go beyond simple app vulnerabilities. Have you checked for these?
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2015-10-02
Buffer overflow in Canary Labs Trend Web Server before 9.5.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted TCP packet.

Published: 2015-10-02
Cisco NX-OS 6.0(2)U6(0.46) on N3K devices allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (temporary SNMP outage) via an SNMP request for an OID that does not exist, aka Bug ID CSCuw36684.

Published: 2015-10-02
Cisco Email Security Appliance (ESA) 8.5.6-106 and 9.6.0-042 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (file-descriptor consumption and device reload) via crafted HTTP requests, aka Bug ID CSCuw32211.

Published: 2015-10-01
lxc-start in lxc before 1.0.8 and 1.1.x before 1.1.4 allows local container administrators to escape AppArmor confinement via a symlink attack on a (1) mount target or (2) bind mount source.

Published: 2015-10-01
kernel_crashdump in Apport before 2.19 allows local users to cause a denial of service (disk consumption) or possibly gain privileges via a (1) symlink or (2) hard link attack on /var/crash/vmcore.log.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What can the information security industry do to solve the IoT security problem? Learn more and join the conversation on the next episode of Dark Reading Radio.