Getty ImagesThe U.S. government has filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, charging him with violations under the espionage act — including theft and unauthorized communications, according to the Washington Post.
The U.S. has also asked Hong Kong authorities to arrest him.
The Post cites " U.S. officials" as the source of its report.
The three charges are all felonies, each carrying a maximum of 10 years in prison: Theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.
Snowden, a former contractor to the National Security Agency, leaked a variety of top secret information to the Guardian and the Washington Post, including details on the National Security Agency's collection of most Americans' cell phone records.
Filing the criminal complaint is the first step in seeking to have Snowden extradited from Hong Kong, where he has been staying since the public disclosure of the information he leaked.
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