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US government entitled to profits of Edward Snowden’s memoir, judge rules

A judge has ruled that Edward Snowden is not entitled to the money made by his tell-all memoir, Permanent Record. Profits from the revealing New York Times bestseller should instead go to the United States government according to a judge’s ruling.

Snowden’s book titled “Permanent Record” details how and why he decided to leak highly confidential documents that uncovered the US government’s plans for mass surveillance. Not long after, the US government sued arguing that the publication of the memoir was “in violation of the non-disclosure agreements he signed with both the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA)”.

The lawsuit also claimed that releasing the book without being reviewed by government agencies prior to its publication was “in violation of his express obligations”. Snowden’s legal team argued that Permanent Record would’ve been submitted for review if he believed agencies would review the memoir in good faith.

District Judge Liam O’Grady released his ruling earlier this week saying that the government is entitled to proceeds from the memoir.

Snowden has responded to the ruling on Twitter in a post that wrote:

“The government may steal a dollar, but it cannot erase the idea that earned it … I wrote this book for you, and I hope the government’s ruthless desperation to prevent its publication only inspires you read it – and then gift it to another.”

Despite the ruling, Snowden confirms that the book will remain on sale. “The court’s ruling is a hack intended to circumvent first amendment limits on what the government can censor.”