NSA Leaker Snowden Charged Under the Espionage Act

Disclosure of classified info
US News • Views: 33,905

The other shoe drops: U.S. Charges Snowden With Espionage.

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.

This clears the way for Snowden to be extradited to the US from Hong Kong (if he’s still there), but Snowden could apply for asylum because the treaty has an exception for “political offenses.”

Or he could fly off to Iceland in a private jet, like a true working class hero.

The anti-secrecy group Wikileaks has held some discussions with officials in Iceland about providing asylum to Snowden. A businessman in Iceland has offered to fly Snowden on a chartered jet to his country if he is granted asylum there.

UPDATE at 6/21/13 4:09:04 pm
UPDATE at 6/21/13 5:43:12 pm

Hang on, folks. The first media reports are wrong again.

Here are links to the three charges in the complaint — please note that contrary to the headlines, Edward Snowden is not being specifically charged with espionage:

Snowden is being charged under provisions of the Espionage Act, he’s not being charged with espionage. There is a specific espionage charge, and it’s not in the complaint: 10 USC § 906a - Art. 106a. Espionage.

UPDATE at 6/21/13 7:42:27 pm

Clarification: Even though they’re not specifically charges of espionage, two of the charges against Snowden do fall under the “Espionage and Censorship” chapters of the Espionage Act.

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