Prosecutors have 60 days to file an indictment against Snowden and then seek his extradition from Hong Kong. If the extradition battle makes its way to the Hong Kong's highest court, as seems likely, the process could take months. An extradition treaty that the country shares with the U.S. has an exception for offenses of a political character, which is likely to make this a long running battle. Snowden faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for each charge.
The whole affair started earlier this month when secret court documents were leaked, showing that the NSA had requested data about millions of calls involving Verizon customers. More information leaked about companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo. All five companies denied their involvement in the PRISM program.
On Friday, published reports out of the U.K. said that the GCHQ spy agency in Britain was tapped into the fiber-optic networks that carry phone calls and internet traffic and is turning that information over to the NSA.
source: USAToday via Yahoo