Edward Snowden is someone that needs no introduction at this point; he is the man who dared to go against the system and revealed an awkward truth: that all American citizens are being watched by their government.
Snowden is living in Russia right now, and although he has stated his intentions to return to the US, he won’t do it unless that he is promised the chance to defend himself at trial.
The US government is “entitled” to any profit that Snowden makes from his memoir
However, given the recent actions of the US government against him, this seems unlikely, as a federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the government is entitled to any money that the former computer security consultant of the NSA and CIA makes out of any written work or paid speech.
And speaking about paid speeches, last time Edward Snowden “appeared” in public was in the opening event of the Web Summit 2019, which took place on November 5th.
At that event, he called the GPDR law a “Paper Tiger”, stating that nothing will change until huge fines can be issued to tech giants.
A federal court in Alexandria led by Judge Liam O’Grady ruled in favor of the Government this Tuesday. The judge stated that “Snowden accepted employment and benefits conditioned upon prepublication review obligations.”
What this means in practical terms, is that the US Government is stripping him of any money that he makes from his book titled “Permanent Record“, an autobiography where he recounts the reasons that led him to leak tens of thousands of secret documents belonging to the most important intelligence agencies of the US.
Needless to say, this is the price that Snowden has to pay for telling the truth, since everyone knows that his book would have never got published if he would’ve sent it for review. In this sense, Snowden’s attorneys have made this same statement and are in open disagreement with the court’s decision.
Right now, the legal team for Edward Snowden is reviewing its options, although there is not too much that can be done at this point, because Snowden signed a non-disclosure agreement with both the CIA and the NSA, an agreement that was broken a long time ago.
Critics are seeing this as the US Justice Department venting their frustration for being unable to put Snowden on trial.