WASHINGTON CNN) -- Federal prosecutors have charged Edward Snowden, the man who admitted leaking top-secret details about
The United States has asked Hong Kong, where Snowden is believed to be in hiding, to detain the former National Security Agency contract analyst on a provisional arrest warrant, The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed U.S. officials.
The complaint charges Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person. The latter two allegations amount to espionage under the federal Espionage Act.
Snowden, 30, has admitted in interviews he was the source behind the leak of classified documents about the NSA's surveillance programs. Those leaks were the basis of reports in
The documents revealed the existence of top-secret surveillance programs that collect records of domestic telephone calls in the
The revelation rocked the Obama administration and
Obama, top legislators and national security officials defend the surveillance programs as necessary to combat terrorism and argue that some privacy must be sacrificed in a balanced approach.
They say the law allows collection of metadata, such as the time and numbers of phone calls, and that a special federal court must approve accessing the content -- listening to the call itself.
Snowden is believed to be in hiding in
A series of blog posts this week purportedly by Snowden said he leaked classified details about
However, Obama "closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge," a blog post said. The Guardian newspaper and website identified the author as Snowden.
Snowden said that he had to get out of the
In the interview with the South China Morning Post, he said he plans to stay in
The complaint against him was filed under seal on June 14 in U.S. District Court in
There have been "some preliminary" discussions with
This new treaty established an agreement under
Carol Cratty reported from
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