US govt. slaps criminal charges against NSA whistleblower for 'theft'

Washington, June 22 (ANI): The government of US has reportedly charged NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden with theft and criminal charges.

Snowden who leaked highly classified NSA 'snooping' programme details has been in hiding in Hong Kong in a bid to escape US extradition.

However, the US government has filed criminal charges against him, which include 'theft of government property', 'unauthorized communication of national defence information' and 'willful communication of highly classified communications of intelligence information to unauthorized person', Fox News reports.

According to the report, Snowden gained access to the classified information while working as a contractor for NSA.

Snowden's claim that the 'snooping programme' infringes the 'privacy rights' of citizens has been slammed by the government who said that it is indeed necessary for the national security as it helped the NSA foil a number of terrorist attacks in the country.

The complaint against Snowden by US was filed on June 14 and also asks the Hong Kong government to extradite him to US.

Florida Democrat and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Bill Nelson said that Snowden's act was treasonous according to him and the US Department of Justice

Nelson hoped that Hong Kong's government will take Snowden into custody and extradite him to the US, the report added. (ANI)

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