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The U.S. government took swift legal action against famed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden after the release of his memoir, “Permanent Record.”
The government’s complaint, filed September 17th, alleges that Snowden, a former CIA employee and former contractor for the NSA, violated non-disclosure agreements with the NSA and CIA by publishing his book without first submitting it for prepublication review “in violation of his express obligations under the agreements he signed.” The government also claims that Snowden has violated NDAs by giving speeches without first providing materials for prepublication review. The book’s publishers are also named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit does not seek a halt in publication, but it argues that all profits from “Permanent Record” belong to the government.
“Intelligence information should protect our nation, not provide personal profit,” G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. “This lawsuit will ensure that Edward Snowden receives no monetary benefits from breaching the trust placed in him.”
The ACLU responded to the suit criticizing the prepublication review, claiming that it’s “a process that prohibits millions of former intelligence-agency employees and military personnel from writing or speaking about topics related to their government service without first obtaining government approval.”
“This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations. Had Mr. Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review. But the government continues to insist that facts that are known and discussed throughout the world are still somehow classified,” said Ben Wizner, an attorney for Snowden.
Snowden himself responded via Twitter that “It is hard to think of a greater stamp of authenticity than the US government filing a lawsuit claiming your book is so truthful that it was literally against the law to write.”
Snowden also wrote that “the very book the government does not want you to read just became the #1 best-selling book in the world.”
“Permanent Record” is available to purchase by clicking here.