Submitted by ub on Sat, 06/22/2013 - 10:15

Edward Snowden may be facing arrest if he continues to stay in Hong Kong, after US authorities filed charges, thereby trying to extradite him over leaks on classified surveillance programs.

Mr. Snowden has become a political hot potato between China and US and is currently under protection but has not so far been asked to reveal his trove of intelligence data.

The 29-year-old former CIA employee contractor for the National Security Agency, flew to Hong Kong before leaking detailed evidence of the scale of US hacking and cyber-surveillance programs.

US attorneys have now charged him with three crimes: theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defense information and the wilful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorised person.

The final two fall under the US Espionage act and carry penalties of up to ten years in jail.