Edward Snowden is going to be charged with espionage for his role in releasing information on the NSA’s surveillance program. To keep other whistleblowers from coming forward, they are going to put the hammer down on this case.
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.
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 programs in the United States.