Why did the NSA Whistle-blower Choose Hong Kong?



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Guest post by Brian Chan, Research Assistant, University of Hong Kong, Juris Doctor Candidate, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

On 10th June, an article from the Time Magazine puts forward a question “if you were on the run from the U.S. government, where would you choose to lay low?” The whistle-blower Edward Snowden, a former technical assistant for the CIA, chose Hong Kong after disclosing details of phone and internet surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency.

According to The Guardian, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong in late May, and he has stayed there ever since to flee from possible prosecution. He chose the city because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the U.S. government.

Why would Snowden choose a place which is not even bound by the Refugee Convention? In his latest interview with the South China Morning Post, he says “my intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate. I have been given no reason to doubt your


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