U.S. charges Edward Snowden with espionage in leaks about NSA surveillance programs

Peter Finn and Sari Horowitz
The Washington Post

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, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case.

The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered and a district with a long track record of prosecuting cases with national security implications.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment…

…There was never any doubt that the Justice Department would seek to prosecute Snowden for one of the most significant national security leaks in the country’s history. The Obama administration has shown a particular propensity to go after leakers and has launched more investigations that any previous administration. This White House is responsible for bringing six of the nine total indictments ever brought under the 1917 Espionage Act. Snowden will be the seventh individual when he is formally indicted…

The complete article, with video, is at The Washington Post.


Also at the site, WikiLeaks, Assange negotiating asylum in Iceland for Snowden
Related: How an e-mail address disrupted plots in Britain and U.S.


Update: GCHQ is a greater problem than American spies, claims intelligence whistleblower

GCHQ, Britain’s electronic eavesdropping agency, is tapping into vast numbers of emails and internet messages and is “worse” than US spy agencies, a former American intelligence worker has said.


Update 2:   Official Obama Policy: Leaking Run-of-the-Mill Non-Classified Information Is the Equivalent of Treason and Espionage

…Apparently our Founding Fathers worked an additional structural protection against tyranny into the Constitution: The separation of ass from hole in the ground.

But Obama seeks to rectify this situation: by ruthlessly hunting down leakers and whistleblowers.

It’s called the Insider Threat program. I’m glade they didn’t give it an ominous sounding name or anything…


By Ace of Spades. Read the whole thing.



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