In the lawsuit, the US government alleges that Snowden failed to submit a pre-publication review to the CIA or National Security Agency (NSA), which the government claims to be a necessity for a former intelligence agency employee.
Thus, the publication of the book violates the non-disclosure agreement that Snowden signed during his time at NSA. The lawsuit also factors in the Snowden’s “public speeches on intelligence-related matters” which also violates his non-disclosure agreement.
What does the US seeks from the lawsuit? Only Money.
The US government wants to “recover” all the proceeds earned by Snowden from the publication. The suit also names the book publishers and involved corporate entities as “nominal defendants”.
Moreover, the government is suing the publisher, Henry Holt, in order to make sure that no proceeds are transferred to Snowden.
Interestingly, the suit does not seek to block the release of the book and only tries to grab hold of the monetary benefits.
Snowden’s history with the US government
Edward Snowden is a former CIA employee and NSA whistleblower.
In 2013, he uncovered the unethical surveillance activities conducted by the NSA by leaking classified government documents to international media. Snowden’s revelations disclosed that the agency was tapping the phone records of an uncountable number of people.
Since the disclosure, Snowden has taken refuge at a political asylum in Russia and would likely to be charged with the Espionage Act if he ever returns to the US.
Problems with the lawsuit
The lawsuit specifically targets Snowden on the fact that the Permanent Record discusses the classified documents and materials. However, the sympathizers and Edward’ supporters think otherwise.
“This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations,” said ACLU attorney Ben Wizner @TheVerge
Following the news, Edward Snowden confirmed the civil lawsuit development in a tweet. He also said, “This is the book the government does not want you to read”