Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden strongly denied that he gave secret information to the Chinese or Russian governments, a response to reported fears from current and former U.S. officials about an intelligence windfall for America’s rivals.
“I never gave any information to either government, and they never took anything from my laptops,” Snowden said, according to The Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald.
Greenwald reported that Snowden, who is believed to be hiding out in the transit area of a Moscow airport, made the statements to refute a story from The New York Times that said Chinese intelligence officials had likely drained the contents of four laptops with which Snowden was reportedly traveling while in Hong Kong. Similar concerns from U.S. officials have been reported by ABC News, including those of a senior U.S. intelligence official who said it would be “fairly easy” for either the Chinese or Russians to copy the information from the laptops with or without Snowden’s permission or knowledge.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if one of those groups hadn’t done so already,” the official said last month.