TODAY   |  June 13, 2013

Snowden alleges US hacked Chinese targets

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Edward Snowden, who leaked information about the NSA’s surveillance programs in the U.S., alleged that the U.S. has also hacked into “hundreds of targets in China and Hong Kong.”

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>>> we've got new developments this morning tied to the nsa leaks and the search for the man behind them. nbc's ian williams is in hong kong , where edward snowden has spoken out once again. ian, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. edward snowden did resurface briefly for what was, in effect, an appeal to hong kong through its main english language newspaper. he said he wants to stay here and fight.

>> edward snowden has given a new interview.

>> reporter: it is the talk of hong kong , an interview with the " south china morning post ," from a safe house somewhere in this teeming city of 7.2 million people. in it, edward snowden alleges that the u.s. hacked into hundreds of targets in china and hong kong , saying i am not here to hide from justice. i am here to reveal criminality. and he intends to ask the courts and people of hong kong to decide my fate.

>> i think he is slightly deluding himself. there isn't a strong tradition of being supportive of people seeking political asylum here.

>> reporter: the hong kong media also reporting that snowden is seeking local legal help.

>> i don't get a sense of fear or anxiety or confusion.

>> reporter: while half a world away in washington, the head of the national security agency told senators the program snowden exposed had played a big part in deterring terror attacks.

>> i gave an approximate number to them in a classified -- but it's dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent.

>> reporter: an insight into snowden 's character comes from what appear to be blogs posted by him as an 18-year-old and reported by reuters just after he dropped out of school and his parents divorced. "i act arrogant and cruel because i was not hugged enough as a child and because the public education system turned its wretched, spiked back on me." today also, a first reaction from beijing. the " china daily " saying that washington, after accusing china of massive cyber spying, as how been exposed as the world's biggest cyber snooper. matt?

>> ian williams in hong kong on a story that's going to continue to make headlines for days to come.