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      US charges NSA whistleblower with espionage and theft

      The U.S. government has charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with espionage and theft.

      Snowden, now holed up in Hong Kong, has admitted providing information to the news media about two highly classified NSA surveillance programs.

      A one-page criminal complaint unsealed Friday 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.