Edward Snowden, the U.S. defense contractor for the NSA gone whistleblower has been officially charged by the United States with espionage.
Federal prosecutors have filed a 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 theft, "unauthorized communication of national defense information" and "willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person," according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.
American comedian Andy Borowitz of The New Yorker is quick at pointing out that charging Snowden with spying has "created a situation dripping with irony."
At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.
These charges send a clear message, the spokesman said. In the United States, you cant spy on people.
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