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US plans 'aggressive' pursuit of intel whistleblower Snowden

Published on Jun 11, 2013 8:39 AM
 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The whereabouts of whistleblower Edward Snowden were shrouded in mystery on Monday as US lawmakers demanded his immediate extradition from Hong Kong over his sensational leaking of an Internet surveillance program.

Mr Snowden, a 29-year-old technology expert working for a private firm subcontracted to the US National Security Agency (NSA), checked out of his Hong Kong hotel after revealing his identity to the British-based Guardian newspaper on Sunday.

The private contractor has become an instant hero for transparency advocates and libertarians around the globe following his exposure of the NSA's worldwide monitoring of private users web traffic and phone records.

But the US government appeared to be gearing up to take action against Mr Snowden on Monday with senior lawmakers branding his actions as "treason" and saying he should be extradited from Hong Kong as quickly as possible.

Mr Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, is shown in this photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London on June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong. Mr Snowden and his many supporters, who have taken to the Internet to condemn the United States government and the private web giants which cooperated with its secret surveillance, defended his actions, saying he had struck a blow for freedom. -- PHOTO : AP
 
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