double decker

double decker

Hong Kong: NSA whistleblower Snowden checks out of Hong Kong hotel

2h ago
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1. M/S Entrance of hotel 'The Mira Hong Kong' 2. W/S Entrance of hotel 'The Mira Hong Kong' 3. M/S Exterior of hotel 'The Mira Hong Kong' 4. C/U Sign 'The Mira Hong Kong' on side of hotel 5. M/S Sign 'The Mira Hong Kong' on side of hotel 6. W/S Double decker bus passes the Mira Hotel 7. W/S Low angle of Mira Hotel SCRIPT Hong Kong: NSA whistleblower Snowden checks out of Hong Kong hotel The man at the centre of one of the biggest leaks to hit the international intelligence community, Edward Snowden, has checked out of Hong Kong's Mira Hotel on Monday. The 29-year-old whistleblower flew to Hong Kong on May 20 after releasing details to UK newspaper The Guardian of top secret National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance systems, Boundless Informant - a datamining tool mapping international surveillance information, and PRISM - a system said to collect data of United States and foreign citizens on a daily basis from phone providers and Internet based companies such as Facebook, Skype and Google. Snowden's identity was revealed by The Guardian website on Sunday June 9, at his personal request. A former technical assistant for the CIA, Snowden was working as a computer systems administrator for security contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. The firm, which handles NSA's IT systems, is one of the United States' biggest security contractors. It is largely owned by mammoth US-based investment fund, the Carlyle Group, said to have some $170bn (€130bn) in assets. Snowden has been employed by the NSA over the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Dell. Snowden has said his choice of Hong Kong is due to the territory's 'spirited commitment to free speech and right of political dissent' and has voiced strong interest in seeking asylum in Iceland, a nation with a reputation for upholding internet freedom. Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic MP and Smari McCarthy, executive director of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, released a statement of support for Snowden on Sunday June 9, stating their intention to meet with Iceland's interior minister Hanna Birna Kristjansdottir about Snowden's possible asylum application. An extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong, the Fugitive Offenders (United States of America) Order, was signed shortly before the semi-autonomous territory was returned to Chinese sovereignty from the British in 1997. It could see complications arise if the US attempts to extradite Snowden, as China can veto the process if it deems it to to affect its national interests or security. The leaks focused on NSA surveillance and collection of metadata from technology companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple and telecommunication companies such as Verizon, one of the United States' biggest providers. A court order leaked on June 5 states that Verizon is required to pass on domestic and international telephone data to the NSA on a daily basis. Although excluding recordings of the calls, the originating and terminating phone numbers, time and duration of the calls and International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) numbers are recorded. During interviews in his Hong Kong hotel room with journalists from The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Ewan MacAskill, Snowden has maintained his motivation for leaking information about NSA activities was to gain greater transparency.