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Commentary: Washington owes world explanations over troubling spying accusations

English.news.cn   2013-06-23 11:19:50            
 • Edward Snowden has put Washington in a really awkward situation.
 • In the past few months, US politicians have thrown out Internet spying accusations against China.
 • At the moment, Washington is busy with a legal process of extraditing whistleblower Snowden.

by Ming Jinwei

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Edward Snowden, a U.S. intelligence contractor who divulged some of the most secretive spying activities of the U.S. government, has put Washington in a really awkward situation.

In the past few months, U.S. politicians and media outlets have thrown out Internet spying accusations one after another against China, trying to make it as one of the biggest perpetrators of Internet spying activities.

And those claims were even highlighted during a highly anticipated summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama held earlier this month in California, which had been designed to help the world's two biggest economies to build a new type of major power relations.

All this has seemed to go relatively well until the revelation of the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM surveillance program.

According to Snowden, the U.S. government has engaged in wide-ranging dubious spying activities not only on its own citizens, but also on governmental, academic and business entities across the world.

Latest reports from Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, which seems to have access to Snowden after he fled to the Chinese territory, revealed that Washington has hacked into the computer systems of major Chinese telecom carriers and one of the country's top universities.

These, along with previous allegations, are clearly troubling signs. They demonstrate that the United States, which has long been trying to play innocent as a victim of cyber attacks, has turned out to be the biggest villain in our age.

At the moment, Washington is busy with a legal process of extraditing whistleblower Snowden.

But for other countries, Washington should come clean about its record first. It owes too an explanation to China and other countries it has allegedly spied on. It has to share with the world the range, extent and intent of its clandestine hacking programs.

The drama around Snowden also tends to support China's stand on the issue of cyber security.

Both the United States and China, together with many other countries, are victims of hacking. For the uncharted waters of Internet age, these countries should sit down and talk through their suspicions.

With good intentions, they can even work for the establishment of certain rules that help define and regulate Internet activities and mechanisms that can work out their differences when frictions do arise.

The ball is now in Washington's court. The U.S. government had better move to allay the concerns of other countries.

Related:

Snowden charged with espionage for disclosure of secret programs: Post

WASHINGTON, June 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden and charged him with espionage, The Washington Post reported on Friday on its website.

Snowden, a former defense contractor and leaker of classified surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA), was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, the newspaper quoted U.S. officials as saying. Full story

Surveillance programs reveal U.S. hypocrisy

BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhuanet) - In the past years, the U.S. Government has been blaming other countries for threatening cyber security. However, the recent leakage of the two top-secret U.S. surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA) has smashed the image of the U.S. as a cyber liberty advocate and revealed its hypocrisy.

Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old defense contractor, revealed last week that the NSA is monitoring a wide swath of telephone and Internet activity as part of its counterterrorism efforts.Full story

China rejects spy claims against Snowden

BEIJING, June 18 (Xinhuanet) -- China has also rejected claims that Edward Snowden was an agent of China. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying called the allegation "sheer nonsense" and told Washington to come clean on the PRISM program.

"The United States should take the concerns and demands of the international community and the public over this issue seriously, and give an necessary explanation," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying. Full story

Snowden denies being Chinese spy: media

HONG KONG, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. whistle-blower Edward Snowden said accusations from American politicians that he is a Chinese spy are a "predictable smear" designed to "distract from the issue of U.S. government misconduct", according to a South China Morning Post report on Tuesday.

In the second public comments since he admitted exposing secret U.S. cyberspying programmes, Snowden told readers of Guardian webchat to ask themselves, "if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn't I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now." Full story

Obama defends U.S. internet surveillance

BERLIN, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. President Barack Obama defended the country's internet surveillance programs on Wednesday, saying that lives have been saved and threats averted thanks to the monitored information.

Obama said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that at least 50 threats, both in the U.S. and countries including Germany, had been averted because of information the National Security Agency (NSA) was able to access.  Full story

Surveillance programs reveal U.S. hypocrisy

BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhuanet) - In the past years, the U.S. Government has been blaming other countries for threatening cyber security. However, the recent leakage of the two top-secret U.S. surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA) has smashed the image of the U.S. as a cyber liberty advocate and revealed its hypocrisy.

Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old defense contractor, revealed last week that the NSA is monitoring a wide swath of telephone and Internet activity as part of its counterterrorism efforts.  Full story

Video: NSA leaker: I'm neither traitor nor hero

Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old American intelligence contractor, has revealed himself as the source who disclosed the U.S. government's secret phone and Internet surveillance programs. (Source:CNTV.CN)


Editor: Mengjie
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