Pan McMillan, a major UK-based book publisher, has announced it will release the memoir of American whistleblower Edward Snowden on September 17.
Snowden is a former CIA and NSA employee and contractor who in 2013 stunned the world with his revelations about the extent of the effort of his country and its allies to impose a system of absolute mass surveillance.
Snowden shared his trove of highly classified documents with The Guardian and The Washington Post, among other media outlets, before becoming stranded in Russia, where he was eventually granted political asylum.
The Snowden papers showed that US spy agencies used the internet to impose their surveillance apparatus, and had enlisted the help of countries like Australia, Canada, and the UK, as well as other European governments.
According to the Snowden leaks, various telecommunication companies were also involved in the massive scheme, which raised issues of privacy and data safety, as the spy agencies and their helpers targeted both US and foreign citizens.
These unprecedented revelations made six years ago have earned Snowden the label of either a “hero” or a “traitor” – depending on who you ask. And now he has told his story in the memoir entitled “Permanent Record.”
According to his publisher, Snowden showed the world that the US government was “secretly pursuing the means to collect every phone call, text message, and email ever sent.”
Macmillan also said that the book will focus mostly on Snowden’s work for US spy agencies and the eventual disillusionment that led him to obtain and publish the explosive data.
Snowden himself announced the book on Twitter along with a video where he tells of his regret for participating in the creation of America’s mass surveillance system, and a link to a Macmillan blurb that described him as “the man who risked everything to expose the US government’s system of mass surveillance.”
As for the memoir, it is said to reveal “for the first time the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to bring it down.”
Macmillan CEO John Sargent told the New York Times that the company was “enormously proud” to publish the memoir, praising Snowden for his courage that he said makes his “an incredible American story.”
Meanwhile, Snowden remains charged in his home county with violations of the Espionage Act of 1917, and theft of government property.
“I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,” Snowden told The Guardian as he revealed his identity in June 2013.
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