DoJ: Give Us the Proceeds From Snowden's New Book

Justice Dept. sues, alleges Snowden violated non-disclosure agreements
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2019 4:14 PM CDT
Justice Dept. Wants the Proceeds From Snowden's Book
This image provided by Metropolitan Books shows the cover of Edward Snowden's “Permanent Record."   (Metropolitan Books via AP)

Edward Snowden's memoir was released Tuesday, and the Justice Department wasted no time in suing the former CIA employee and NSA contractor who famously leaked top-secret documents regarding government surveillance programs. The DoJ filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking the proceeds from the book, alleging Snowden, by publishing it without first submitting it for pre-publication review, violated the non-disclosure agreements he had signed with both the CIA and the NSA, the AP reports. The department noted in a statement that it is not seeking to halt or restrict publication of Permanent Record, the Washington Post reports. "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," reads one of Snowden's multiple Tuesday tweets on the subject.

"Intelligence information should protect our nation, not provide personal profit," G. Zachary Terwilliger, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement announcing the suit. "This lawsuit will ensure that Edward Snowden receives no monetary benefits from breaching the trust placed in him." The DoJ lawsuit is separate from the criminal espionage charges Snowden faces in the US. An ACLU director and attorney for Snowden says in a statement, "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." The ACLU is currently suing to challenge the government's pre-publication review process. (Snowden recently revealed he's married and wants to move to France.)

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