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Edward Snowden provides data on U.S. cyber attacks in Hong Kong and China

June 14, 2013, 11:35 UTC+3

The claims of Snowden that the U.S. authorities have been conducting cyberattacks against chinese computer networks for a long time, have put Beijing in complication

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HONG KONG /XIANGGANG/, June 14. /ITAR-TASS reporter Alexander Zyuzin/. The exposer of  top-secret programs of electronic surveillance of U.S. intelligence service Edward Snowden provided South China Morning Post daily with a number of proofs that the american cyber-intelligence has conducted an illegal collection of computer data in Hong Kong and continental China. The newspaper reported today that it is examining this data and will prove its authenticity.

The paper specifies that data communicated by Snowden includes IP-addresses of computers subjected to hacker attacks by the United States in the last four years in China and Hong Kong, as well as the precise dates of such incidents. It is claimed that the impact of such attacks was over 75 percent. However, a CIS officer has specified that this information applies only to civil organisations' computers and doesn't touch chinese military structures.

According to local experts in computer security, one of the main targets of foreign hackers is the Hong Kong University of China.

The claims of Snowden that the U.S. authorities have been conducting cyberattacks against chinese computer networks for a long time, have put Beijing in complication. As noted by observers, the authorities of China are very interested in receiving acess to secret information from Snowden as soon as possible. At the same time, Beijing set a high value to its relationships with the USA, which are currently on the rise, and meanwhile prefers not to interfere in this delicate situation. Moreover, Washington hasn't applied an official request to Hong Kong authorities on the extradition of the CIS ex-employee yet.

Snowden himself has informed about his plans to stay in this half-autonomous Special Administrative Region of China and to contest in the courts the potential attempt of the U.S. in seeking his extradition. The exact whereabouts of the runaway is unknown.

The bilateral agreement on extradition exists between the United States and Hong Kong since 1998. However, in the case of Snowden the things may take an extremely complex turnover and, according to lawyers, can probably drag on for months and even years. Although Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy in military and diplomatic matters, it has to rely on the opinion of the Central Government of the PRC. Theoretically, Beijing has the right to veto a decision on extradition, if it considers that in this case national interests could be affected. At the same time, China doesn't have the right to give 'official instructions' to judicial authorities of Hong Kong, since that could violate the political principle 'one country - two systems'.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Government doesn't comment on the situation around Snowden. The head of the Hong Kong Administration Leung Chun-ying, who returned last night after a working trip to the United States, refused to make any statement.

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