China has attacked America as an espionage “villain” after former spy Edward Snowden raised new allegations about the far-reaching extent of US cyber-snooping against Chinese targets.
The US is seeking to extradite the 30-year-old technician from Hong Kong, where he is holed up after leaking details of secret US intelligence programs to international media outlets.
Snowden’s leaks revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has access to vast amounts of internet data such as emails, chat rooms and video under a government program known as PRISM.
The South China Morning Post says documents and statements by Snowden show PRISM also hacked major Chinese telecom companies to access text messages and targeted China’s top Tsinghua University.
The official Xinhua news agency says the US government owes the world an explanation.
“These, along with previous allegations, are clearly troubling signs,” it said in a commentary following the South China Morning Post report.
“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.”