WASHINGTON (AP) — The controversy over sweeping Obama administration electronic surveillance programs is heating up with the request by the U.S. government for the extradition of government contractor Edward Snowden, who released the classified information.
The administration today voiced concern about getting Snowden extradited from Hong Kong, where the 30-year-old has been holed up in recent days.
The White House sharply warned Hong Kong against slow-walking his extradition. This reflects anxiety in Washington over what could turn into a prolonged legal battle before the Snowden ever appears in court to answer espionage charges.
A formal extradition request to bring Snowden home from Hong Kong could drag through appeal courts for years. Not only that, it could Beijing against Washington at a time when China is trying to deflect U.S. accusations that it carries out extensive surveillance on American government and commercial operations.
The National Security Council confirmed in a statement Saturday that the U.S. has contacted authorities in Hong Kong to seek Snowden’s extradition, the National Security Council said Saturday in a statement. The NSC advises the president on national security.