TODAY | June 16, 2013
>> surveillance program. top intelligence officials say information objetained from two of them saw dozens of potential terrorist plots in the u.s. and 20 other countries. that news coming as the certificasearch intensifies for edward snowden , that 29-year-old who exposed the nsa program. he's believed to be hiding in hong kong and that is where ian williams is this morning. ian, good morning.
>> reporter: good morning, erica. a week after edward snowden revealed himself as the source of one of the biggest ever init tell generals leaks, he's assumed still to be here in hong kong and in hiding. snowden is believed to be in a safe house somewhere in this rain swept city of 7.2 million people. where hundreds marched to the u.s. consulate saturday, his support demanding the hong kong government defend him, a sentiment that seems to have wide support here. hong kong 's leader has responded for the first time with a pledge to follow established local laws. the territory ruled by britain until it was returned to china in 1997 has a well-respected legal system with considerable independence. but beijing has the final say in extradition cases. state newspapers there have reveled in what they call the hypocrisy of the u.s. government which has accused china of cyber spying and the internet companies thatry parentally worked with it. but the chinese government itself has been tightlipped.
>> in this instance i think they'll tell you that process of law will take place in hong kong and can we get it as quickly as possible.
>> reporter: he may be hiding but as of now snowden is not a fugitive. he's broken no hong kong laws and is yet to be charged in the u.s., which surprises the former head of the rural hong kong police criminal intelligence bureau.
>> the longer he's here and the longer he digs in, the more difficult it will be to pry him out.
>> reporter: the complex politics of hong kong may be one reason snowden chose to come here. this is one of the most crowded cities on the planet. it's not difficult simply to disappear here. while somewhere here the man described by his girlfriend as a keen chess player is plotting his next move. hong kong media has reported that snowden is seeking legal help locally and there's no shortage of high-profile lawyers lining up to take on a case that could take months or even years, erica.
>> ian williams in hong kong