Breaking: Feds charge NSA leaker Edward Snowden with espionage
HERE‘s the deal:
Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials.
Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, the officials said….
Snowden flew to Hong Kong last month after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii with a collection of highly classified documents that he acquired while working at the agency as a systems analyst.
The documents, some of which have been published in The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, detailed some of the most secret surveillance operations undertaken by the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as classified legal memos and court orders underpinning the programsin the United States.
The 29-year-oldintelligence analyst revealed himself June 9 as the leaker in an interview with the Guardian and said he went to Hong Kong because it provided him the “cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained.”
Snowden subsequently disappeared from public view; it is thought that he is still in the Chinese territory. Hong Kong has its own legislative and legal systems but ultimately answers to Beijing, under the so-called “one country, two systems” arrangement.