In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Snowden Makes Fresh 'Hacking' Allegations In New Interview

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AP Photo / Kin Cheung

The paper reported that Snowden provided "unverified" documents to support the hacking allegations:

Snowden claimed that overall, he believed there had been more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations globally, with hundreds of targets in Hong Kong and on the mainland.

"We hack network backbones - like huge internet routers, basically - that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one," he said.

Snowden alleges that the United States is pressing Hong Kong to return him to the states quickly, because U.S. officials fear that Hong Kong will resist if it learns that, as he claims, the NSA has hacked hundreds of targets in China and Hong Kong.

By the same token, his claim also ought to be viewed in the light of his explicit goal of receiving asylum in Hong Kong or elsewhere.

"All I can do is rely on my training and hope that world governments will refuse to be bullied by the United States into persecuting people seeking political refuge," he said.

He also hinted, though did not claim explicitly that other governments may ultimately welcome him.

"Asked if he had been offered asylum by the Russian government, he said: 'My only comment is that I am glad there are governments that refuse to be intimidated by great power,'" the Morning Post reported.

The Morning Post has published a series of stories based on an interview conducted with Snowden "from a secret location in the city." The circumstances of that interview -- including where it was conducted and whether it was done in person -- are not clear from the stories.

Snowden claims he remains in Hong Kong, continues to fear for his safety, but will remain on the island until asked to leave.