WASHINGTON (AP) -- A criminal complaint unsealed Friday charges Edward Snowden in the National Security Agency surveillance case with espionage and theft of government property.
The former NSA contractor has admitted providing information to the news media about two highly classified NSA surveillance programs.
The one-page complaint unsealed in federal court in Alexandria, Va., says Snowden engaged in unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information. Snowden also is charged with theft of government property. All three carry a maximum 10-year prison penalty.
Disclosure of the criminal complaint came as President Barack Obama held his first meeting with a privacy and civil liberties board as his intelligence chief sought ways to help Americans understand more about sweeping government surveillance efforts exposed by Snowden.
The five members of the obscure Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board huddled with Obama for an hour in the White House Situation Room, questioning the president on two NSA programs that have stoked controversy.