Edward Snowden is still a free man but perhaps not for much longer. Snowden revealed to the world, what many people had suspected for some time, that the US authorities were using a surveillance system called PRISM to snoop on every Tom, Dick and Harry. Under the guise of preventing terrorism people's confidential online and phone activity was accessed and stored. The US hunt is on to capture Edward Snowden and prevent further leaks.
According to a report in the Huffington Post, "The US has filed espionage charges against Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who admitted revealing secret surveillance programs to media outlets, according to a court document made public on Friday".
On top of that news, Saturday many pundits are predicting that the United States will begin the extradition process any day now, if they are able to do so. Extradition could pose some problems depending on the location of Snowden but remember that old saying "where there is a will there is a way". That is certainly true for the USA. Their activities in other parts of the world reinforce the fact that they do not care if they break the rules as long as they achieve their mission, which in this case is shutting Snowden up.
Extradition may not be simple, as the Atlantic Wire explain well, but never write of the USA when it comes to getting their own way. An extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong, signed in 1996, could determine if and how Snowden is forced back to US soil but the process could take years. That will not suit the USA who want him silenced before his leaks continue.
Opting to charge him with espionage may be a good move for those wanting extradition in the near future but there are no guarantees. No doubt the legal papers charging Snowden have been carefully crafted to enable extradition to follow swiftly.
In the meantime supporters of Snowden sign petitions but already realise that the US is not set to forgive Edward Snowden any time soon