WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Criminal charges are brought against the former NSA contractor who exposed several top secret government surveillance programs.

Law enforcement sources tell CBS News that Edward Snowden has been officially charged in the NSA leaks matter.

Snowden, who is believed to still be in Hong Kong somewhere, is being charged with espionage and the theft of government property.

U.S. officials have asked Hong Kong authorities to detain Snowden. At this time, it’s not clear if he’s been taken into custody.

Snowden, who lived near Fort Meade and once attended a Maryland community college, identified himself as the source of the leaked documents.

Those leaks detailed programs that the NSA swept up vast amount of Internet and telephone data.

Meanwhile, an Icelandic businessman with connections to the Wikileaks organization said Friday that a private plane is on standby to transport Snowden from Hong Kong to Iceland.

Iceland’s government, however, says it has not received an asylum request from Snowden.


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