NSA leaker Edward Snowden is being charged under the US Espionage Act for revealing top secret surveillance programs. The US wants to extradite him from Hong Kong, but that could mean a long and complicated legal process.
Now comes the hard part: Getting Mr. Snowden out of Hong Kong, where he’s believed to be hiding out, and into the US court system before he can find refuge in a country willing to provide him with asylum.
Snowden faces three felonies, according to a one-page criminal complaint unsealed Friday in federal court in Alexandria, Va.
He is charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person. The latter two offenses fall under the US Espionage Act and can bring up to 10 years in prison.
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