미국 정부가 중국의 이동통신 기업들을 해킹해 문자 수백만 건을 접수 했다는 사실을 CIA 출신 에드워드 스노든이 추가로 폭로했다.
중국의 칭화대학교와 아시아 최대의 통신서비스 제공 회사인 퍼시픽 인터넷도 해킹 대상이였다고 말했다.
스노든은 미 연방 검찰로부터 간첩활동 혐의로 기소 되었으며 현재 홍콩에서 자취를 감춘 채 생활하고 있다.
"미 국가안보국은 문자 데이터를 해킹하기 위해 수단과 방법을 가리지 않고 중국의 이동통신 기업들을 해킹하고 있다”라고 스노든이 인터뷰서 밝혔다.
또 이를 뒷받침 할만한 증거들을 가지고 있다고 홍콩 사우스차이나모닝포스트가 보도했다.
이번 추가 폭로는 영국 정부가 전세계 인터넷과 전화선을 해킹했다는 발표 직후 이루어졌다.
영국 거디언지는 영국의 비밀정보국이 개인정보들을 미국 국가 안보국과 공유하고 있다고 밝혔다.
홍콩 신문사는 개인 컴퓨터에 접근할 수 있는“중심 네트워크”를 대상으로 전세계적으로 6만건 이상의 작전을 펼쳤다고 이전에 밝혔다.
스노든은 토요일에 공개된 인터뷰에서 칭화대가 주된 대상이었다고 홍콩 신문에 말했다.
미국 법무부는 스노든에 대한 체포 영장이 발부가 확인 되었다고 말했다.
하지만 홍콩 정부는 이 일과 관련해서는 말을 아꼈다.
“홍콩정부와 합의하에 스노든의 인도가 요청된 것이라면 홍콩의 법에 따라 처리하겠다고”라고 홍공 경찰 처장이 말했다.
신문사는 스노든이 홍콩에서 안전하게 지내고 있다고 보도했다.
법률 전문가들은 스노든이 송환되기까지는 몇 년이 걸릴 것이라고 예상하고 있다.
US hacks Chinese mobile phone messages: Snowden
The United States government is hacking Chinese mobile phone companies to gather data from millions of text messages, former intelligence technician Edward Snowden told the Sunday Morning Post in
US spies have also hacked China's prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing and Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator Pacnet, the Post quoted Snowden as saying.
Snowden, who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), has been charged with espionage by the US after revealing a massive spying programme and has gone to ground after fleeing to Hong Kong.
"The NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cell phone companies to steal all of your SMS data," Snowden said in the interview conducted on June 12.
The Post said Snowden had provided documents listing operational details of specific attacks on computers, including internet protocal (IP) addresses, over a four-year period.
Government data shows almost 900 billion text messages were exchanged in China in 2012.
The claims followed soon after a report in the Guardian in which he claimed the British government's electronic eavesdropping agency had gained secret access to fibre-optic cables carrying global Internet traffic and telephone calls.
Britain's Guardian said that Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had started processing vast amounts of personal information – including Facebook posts, emails, Internet histories and phonecalls -- and is sharing it with the NSA.
The Post has previously quoted Snowden saying there have been more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations globally, targeting powerful "network backbones" that can yield access to hundreds of thousands of individual computers.
He said these included hundreds of targets in mainland China and Hong Kong.
Snowden told the Post in the report published Saturday that Tsinghua University, which counts China's President Xi Jinping and previous President Hu
Jintao among its graduates, was the target of extensive hacking by the US.
The university, which is home to one of the mainland's six major backbone networks from where Internet data from millions of Chinese citizens can be gathered, was breached as recently as January, he said.
In 2009, the NSA also attacked Pacnet, the owner of one of the region's biggest fibre-optic networks, the Post reported, citing information provided by Snowden.
Pacnet, which is headquartered in Hong Kong and Singapore, owns 46,000 kilometres of fibre and operates in 13 countries, according to its website.
A US justice department official has confirmed that a sealed criminal complaint has been lodged with a federal court in Virginia and a provisional arrest warrant has been issued for Snowden, who fled to Hong Kong in May.
But Hong Kong government officials Saturday remained tight-lipped as to whether they had received such a request and whether Snowden had been approached.
"If jurisdictions which have signed an agreement with Hong Kong made a request, then the Hong Kong government would process any request in accordance. And we would deal with it according to the law and system of Hong Kong," Police Commissioner Andy Tsang told reporters.
The Post claimed on its website late Saturday that Snowden remained "safe" in Hong Kong and had not been detained by police.
The city of seven million people has maintained a degree of autonomy since its handover of sovereignty from Britain to China in 1997 and operates a separate legal system.
The former British colony has a long-standing extradition treaty with the US, but Beijing, which has control over the city's defence and foreign affairs, has the potential to veto any ruling.
Legal experts have said that any attempt to extradite Snowden could last several years. (AFP)