June 21, 2013 Rueters
WASHINGTON - The government has filed sealed criminal charges against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who admitted leaking secrets about classified U.S. surveillance programs, U.S. sources said on Friday.
A U.S. Justice Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a criminal complaint had been filed against Snowden, who disclosed documents detailing U.S. telephone and internet surveillance efforts.
Another U.S. source, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was preparing to seek Snowden's extradition from Hong Kong, where he is believed to be in hiding.
Earlier, the Washington Post reported that U.S. prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint charging Snowden with espionage, theft and conversion of government property. The Post also reported that the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain Snowden on a provisional arrest warrant.
The criminal complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Snowden's former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is located, the Post reported.
Documents leaked by Snowden revealed that U.S. security services had monitored data about phone calls from Verizon and Internet data from large companies such as Google and Facebook as part of counterterrorism efforts.