Justice Department Sues Edward Snowden Over Publication of New Memoir

They claim Snowden violated his NDA by publishing the book

Newly released "Permanent Record" by Edward Snowden is displayed on a shelf at Books Inc. on September 17, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Newly released "Permanent Record" by Edward Snowden is displayed on a shelf at Books Inc. on September 17, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / September 18, 2019 11:15 am

As NBC reports, the Department of Justice has sued Edward Snowden over the publication of his new memoir, Permanent Record, seeking to seize any proceeds Snowden earns from the book. The DOJ argues that Snowden violated the non-disclosure agreements he signed with the CIA and the NSA by publishing the book (which came out yesterday, Sept. 17th).

“The lawsuit alleges that Snowden published his book without submitting it to the agencies for pre-publication review, in violation of his express obligations under the agreements he signed,” the DOJ said in a statement.

Snowden’s lawyer Ben Wizner argued that the book does not contain any government secrets that have not been previously published. “Mr. Snowden wrote this book to continue a global conversation about mass surveillance and free societies that his actions helped inspire,” Wizner said in a statement. “He hopes that today’s lawsuit by the United States government will bring the book to the attention of more readers throughout the world.”

Snowden’s publisher, Macmillan Publishers, is also named in the suit to ensure that no revenue from the memoir is transferred over to him while he continues to live in exile in Russia.

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