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US orders investigation after spy leak

US orders investigation after spy leak

Washington: The White House has said that an investigation is under way after a former CIA employee leaked information about a covert US global surveillance programme that harvests internet and phone records of American citizens and foreigners.

Eward Snowden, 29, told Britain's Guardian newspaper that the government is gathering millions of phone and internet records.

He revealed himself as the source of the leaked information, insisting that he went public to protect the liberties of people around the world.

The White House has refused to discuss the investigation into what is one of the most significant leaks in US political history. Nor has it commented on Snowden, an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, a US technology and management consulting firm.

"I believe he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Peter King, senior Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said on Monday.

"I consider him right now to be a defector," he said.

Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat head the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused Snowden of committing an "act of treason" and demanded his prosecution.

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