Venezuelans Told to 'Unfriend' Facebook over U.S. Spying

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July 12, 2013

A government minister in Venezuela, which has offered fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden asylum, is urging her countrymen to cancel their Facebook accounts lest they be targeted by U.S. snooping.

"Fellow Venezuelans: cancel your Facebook accounts, since you unwittingly have worked as CIA informants! Look at the Snowden case!" prisons minister Maria Iris Varela said in a Twitter posting.

Varela also said victims of "gringo espionage" should file lawsuits to demand "fair compensation" and bankrupt the U.S. government.

In apparent limbo in Moscow, Snowden has applied for asylum in 27 countries as he tries to evade American justice for disclosing a vast program of U.S. worldwide electronic surveillance.

It remains unclear how Snowden would be able to leave the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport, where he has been marooned without a valid passport since he arrived from Hong Kong on June 23.

Snowden, a former IT contractor at the U.S. National Security Agency, said it had gathered vast amounts of users' private Internet data from Facebook and other Internet giants.


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