UK warns airlines across globe against flying Snowden into Britain
Iran Press TV
Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:32AM GMT
The British government has alerted air carriers around the world not to allow the American NSA whistleblower who exposed top-secret US electronic spying operations to board a flight to the UK.
The travel alert on Edward Snowden, a former contract employee of the world’s largest spy institution, the National Security Agency (NSA), appears on a Home Office letterhead and dated Monday, demanding airlines to deny him boarding because “the individual is highly likely to be refused entry to the UK,” The Associated Press reports Friday.
The report notes that a photograph copy of the official British document was observed at a Thai airport on Friday and a British diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the legitimacy of the document and the fact that it was “sent out to airlines around the world.”
The document titled “RALON Carrier Alert 15/13” had a photograph of Snowden and gave his date of birth and passport number. It said: “If this individual attempts to travel to the UK: Carriers should deny boarding.” It warned that carriers may “be liable to costs relating to the individual’s detention and removal” should they allow him to travel.
The diplomat further asserted that such official alerts are issued to airlines that fly into Britain and that the penalty for any carrier that flies Snowden to the European country would be 2,000 British pounds (USD3,150).
He added Snowden would likely have been deemed by the UK’s Home Office to be detrimental to the “public good.”
This is while airlines in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore also confirmed receiving the British travel alert against Snowden.
The AP report then goes on to speculate that although no formal charges have been files against the former US spy, “Snowden’s world is now shrinking.”
The US-based major news agency then argues “if other countries follow Britain’s example and bar his entry, Snowden would have few options for seeking refuge if he were not allowed to stay in his preferred sanctuary of Hong Kong.”
According to the report, China has not formally commented on what it plans to do with the US whistleblower, but a major Chinese newspaper has urged Beijing to use Snowden to gain information on US spying operations against China rather than expel him.
Snowden announced in a Thursday interview with a Hong Kong-based newspaper that the US spy agency that he worked for was also engaged in massive hacking against China and Hong Kong.
Pointing to the ‘extensive hacking operations’ by the US, Snowden told the South China Morning Post newspaper that he wanted to show “the hypocrisy of the US government when it claims that it does not target civilian infrastructure, unlike its adversaries.”
Snowden’s new assertions about American cyber attack operations against China seriously undermines Obama administration’s recent publicity campaign on what it alleges to be massive hacking operations by the Chinese military to “steal” American corporate and government secrets.
He further told the Hong Kong daily that the agency ran 61,000 hacking operations, with “hundreds of targets” in China and Hong Kong.
The hacking operations, Snowden added, had been in place since 2009 “and targeted the Chinese University of Hong Kong, public officials, businesses and students.”
He further emphasized, “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.”
The interview was reportedly the first public comments made by Snowden since Monday, when he checked out of the Hong Kong hotel where he had been staying.
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