The National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower may end up in Ecuador. Edward Snowden, the former undercover employee for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) accused of espionage, has requested asylum in the South American country.
According to The New York Times, the foreign minister of Ecuador confirmed receiving an asylum request recently from Snowden. The former contractor has led the U.S. on an international chase after managing to elude capture in Hong Kong. The 30-year-old has flown from Hong Kong to Moscow on Sunday and was expected to fly to Cuba today, but was not found in his assigned seat on the flight. There were no other signs of him elsewhere on board, Yahoo! News reports.
The White House reportedly released its first official statement, stating its disappointment in Hong Kong’s decision to allow Snowden to leave China. The White House also pressed Russia to turn Snowden over.
The U.S. was shaken after Snowden came forward early this month as the principal source behind the recent disclosures of the top-secret program known as Prism. A huge scandal followed Snowden’s decision to come forth with the information of mass-surveillance programs built and managed by the NSA.