Next Move China—Will Hong Kong (or Beijing) Refuse to Extradite the NSA Leaker?

Hong Kong's skyline Hong Kong's skyline Vincent Yu/AP

Since the Guardian reported that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had sought refuge from US authorities in Hong Kong, the reaction of netizens worldwide has been one of confusion. Why would a man responsible for revealing the extent of US digital surveillance on the grounds of privacy and freedom of expression go to a special administrative region of China, where such values are consistently suppressed?

Hong Kong signed an extradition treaty with the US in 1996, a year before the former British colony was handed back to the Chinese government. As part of the handover, Hong Kong was granted self-governing rights under a “one nation two systems” policy, which includes almost every aspect of rule except military and foreign affairs.

Snowden’s reasons for choosing Hong Kong may have included its determination to stand up for freedom of expression—for example, the city tolerates annual vigils in memory of a 1989 crackdown at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, which often include anti-China rhetoric. But extradition experts like Robert Anello, a New York lawyer, believe that Hong Kong is unlikely to protect the whistleblower. “They’re not going to put at risk their relationship with the US over Mr Snowden,” he told Reuters.

Read more at Quartz

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by eSignLive by VASCO

    Mobile E-Signatures for Government

    Learn 5 key trends that accelerate government demand for mobile signing.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Management Concepts

    SPONSORED: Successful Change Management Practices in the Public Sector

    How governmental agencies implement organizational change management.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Kronos

    Solving the Workforce Compliance Challenge

    Download this eBook to learn how data and automation can help state and local agencies.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.