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Where in the world is NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden?

Ex-CIA employee Snowden, 29, left his hotel on Monday, according to the news agency. “His whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be still in Hong Kong,” it adds.

Snowden supplied highly classified documents to reporters about a top-secret surveillance program to collect communications from the largest Internet companies in the world to monitor non-U.S. citizens abroad who are suspected in terror investigations. Also, Snowden apparently leaked information regarding a secret court order authorizing the collections of millions of telephone records involving U.S. citizens.

Snowden said he did not believe he had committed a crime: “We have seen enough criminality on the part of government. It is hypocritical to make this allegation against me.”

Snowden, who left his job three weeks ago as a NSA contractor in Hawaii for Booz Allen Hamilton, told The Guardian that he fled to Hong Kong because it has “a strong tradition of free speech,” despite its control by mainland China, USA Today writes.

The whistleblower fled to a city often unfriendly to enemies of the United States. The U.S. and Hong Kong hold an extradition treaty and routinely cooperate on requests to transfer criminals; in one high-profile case, Hong Kong extradited three al-Qaeda suspects to the U.S. in 2003, we learn here.

Also, the timing is awkward for the U.S. Snowden going to Hong Kong complicates Chinese-American relations less than two days after President Obama and President Xi Jinping met in California for a series of geo-political discussions.

Some U.S. politicians are voicing their anger over Snowden’s whistleblowing. His move to expose sweeping surveillance programs rooting out threats that pose “the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life” was “an act of treason,” Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., charged Monday.

The NSA has requested a criminal probe into the leaked information.

As reported on Digital Journal, supporters for Snowden have started a petition asking the White House for a pardon on his behalf.

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