Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/23/nsa_whistleblower_edward_snowden_leaves_hong_kong/

Cuba bound? Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong

'Through a lawful and normal channel'

By Drew Cullen

Posted in Government, 23rd June 2013 09:30 GMT

Updated Edward Snowden, the NSA PRISM whistleblower, left Hong Kong for Moscow today, sidestepping US attempts to extradite him for espionage. According to reports, he has already left Russia for Cuba.

In a statement issued on June 23, The Hong Kong Government confirmed that Snowden had left the country on "his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel".

According to the statement, HK had no legal basis to stop him from leaving the country, as "documents provided by the US government did not fully comply with the country's law".

And in another sting in the tail, HK has formally requested clarification on "earlier reports about the hacking of computers systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong."

On Friday June 21, The US Department of Justice formally charged Snowden with spying. Snowden, a former security contractor, leaked the existence of PRISM to The Guardian and The Washington Post, which published details of this NSA secret surveillance programme earlier in June.

For good measure Snowden last week lobbed a grenade at GCHQ, the UK's counterpart to the NSA, when he exposed massive data slurping by the security agency.

El Reg's Neil McAllister has published a good summary of this rapidly developing story, here.

Also, tune in to this Register scoop from 2009, where we uncovered a GCHQ project entitled "Mastering the Internet". ®