United States government files civil lawsuit against Edward Snowden

Pierluigi Paganini September 18, 2019

The United States government sued Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee and NSA contractor, to block payment for his book, Permanent Record.

The US DoJ filed a lawsuit against Edward Snowden to prevent the former CIA employee and National Security Agency contractor from receiving the payment for his book, Permanent Record.

According to the civil lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, Snowden violated non-disclosure agreements signed when he was an employee at the US intelligence agencies.

“The United States today filed a lawsuit against Edward Snowden, a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), who published a book entitled Permanent Record in violation of the non-disclosure agreements he signed with both CIA and NSA.” reads the press release published by the DoJ.

“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. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Snowden has given public speeches on intelligence-related matters, also in violation of his non-disclosure agreements.”

The agreements require signatories to submit books and any publication to the agencies for review, before publishing it, to avoid the disclosure of classified information.

“Intelligence information should protect our nation, not provide personal profit,” declared G. Zachary Terwilliger, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in a statement. “This lawsuit will ensure that Edward Snowden receives no monetary benefits from breaching the trust placed in him.”

The book, titled “Permanent Record,” has been released on September 17th, it was published by Henry Holt and Company.

Edward Snowden’s book includes details of the author’s life, including the description of his activity at the US intelligence agencies while they were buiding the Prism surveillance system.

The legal initiative of the UD DoJ aims at recovering all proceeds earned by Snowden, instead of blocking the publication of the book.

“The United States’ lawsuit does not seek to stop or restrict the publication or distribution of Permanent Record. Rather, under well-established Supreme Court precedent, Snepp v. United States, the government seeks to recover all proceeds earned by Snowden because of his failure to submit his publication for pre-publication review in violation of his alleged contractual and fiduciary obligations.” continues the press release.

The US DoJ also sued the publisher to prevent that payments are transferred to Snowden.

“The United States’ ability to protect sensitive national security information depends on employees’ and contractors’ compliance with their non-disclosure agreements, including their pre-publication review obligations,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.

“This lawsuit demonstrates that the Department of Justice does not tolerate these breaches of the public’s trust. We will not permit individuals to enrich themselves, at the expense of the United States, without complying with their pre-publication review obligations.”

Edward Snowden lives in Russia since 2013 after leaking information about the US intelligence’s mass surveillance program, recently appealed to France’s government to grant him asylum.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Edward Snowden, hacking)

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