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US intelligence ponders Snowden's next move
What will Edward Snowden do next?
That question is haunting US intelligence tonight. The former government security worker blew the cover on secret US internet and phone surveillance. Snowden says he's a whistle-blower protecting civil liberties but others think he's a powder keg of state secrets.
The longer Edward Snowden stays underground in China -- the greater grow fears he may defect -- handing Beijing. A jackpot of US security secrets.
"Every day he's in China, Jon, I think erodes his claim he's a whistle-blower. The information he has in his head, and maybe on his person, or on his computer or on his thumb drive, is very valuable to the Chinese, they're very interested in it. If they haven't exploited it already, I suspect they soon will be,” said Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff to defense secretary.
Snowden told a Chinese newspaper:
"People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location
misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice, I am here to reveal criminality."
"I think he's a traitor," said Former Vice President Dick Cheney.
"... It's one of the worst occasions in my memory of somebody with access to classified information doing enormous damage to the national security
Interests of the united states,” he said.
In Hong Kong, Edward Snowden is a folk hero to some, who rallied in his defense and condemned the US for its intelligence hypocrisy.
Albert Ho, member of Hong Kong legislature said, "We demand the whole truth be disclosed by the u.S administration, and we demand an unconditional apology by Mr. Obama."
Some of the social media giants have released numbers of how many users were tapped by the government -- many fewer that speculated. From July to December last year, the government requested six to seven thousand records from Microsoft and nine to 10 thousand from Facebook -- a tiny fraction of the sites' billion plus users.
The father of Edward Snowden's girlfriend told ABC news he never expected this turn of events.
"Very shocked that he went this far with this information and this whole
Situation,” said Jonathan Mills, father of Snowden’s girlfriend.
Now the question is: How much further will he go?