New Lawsuit Brought Against Edward Snowden, 6 Years After Infamous Leaks

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On Sept.17, 2019, 6 years after Edward Snowden leaked top-secret government documents to the public, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit accusing him and his publisher of violating nondisclosure agreements he signed with the CIA and NSA. Snowden is currently living in Russia where he was granted asylum.

Snowden’s memoir, “Permanent Record,” is the reported source of the violations. It is uncertain what exactly will come of this lawsuit as Snowden is guaranteed asylum in Russia until at least 2020, with the potential for an extension of his asylum visa.

In early June 2013, Snowden stole top-secret documents from the NSA and gave them to journalists who then published the documents on The Guardian and The Washington Post, and later The New York Times and Der Spiegel. These documents exposed the extent to which U.S. and British intelligence agencies were monitoring their citizens via the internet, emails, phone calls, and more. On June 21, 2013, charges brought against Snowden were made public. He was charged with stealing government property and violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. Snowden then fled to Russia where he was granted asylum which has been extended until at least 2020.

His memoir, published by Henry Holt and Company, narrates his decision-making process and the rationale behind stealing and releasing the documents, and his position in national intelligence and the government which made it possible for him to do so. He describes the actual act of stealing the documents and how he did it and his belief that what he did was his duty to the American public. Henry Holt and Company have been named as defendants in the case and all assets related to “Permanent Record” have been frozen.

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