Wednesday, 18 September 2019 08:33

US sues Snowden over not getting book vetted by CIA, NSA Featured

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US sues Snowden over not getting book vetted by CIA, NSA Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

The US Government has filed a case against whistleblower Edward Snowden for publishing a book without first submitting it to the CIA and NSA for approval as required by non-disclosure agreements he signed with the two agencies while employed by them.

In a statement, the US Justice Department said the book Permanent Record had not been submitted for pre-publication review. "Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Snowden has given public speeches on intelligence-related matters, also in violation of his non-disclosure agreements," the DoJ said.

The announcement that Snowden would be publishing a book has generated a great deal of interest. This writer ordered a copy from Amazon a few days back and was told that it would reach on 18 September.

This morning, Amazon emailed to say that the shipment would now be delayed until 23 September. Whether this has anything to do with the government's action is unknown. Amazon has a US$600 million services contract with the CIA and is vying for a US$10 billion Pentagon contract known as JEDI.

The DoJ statement said the lawsuit did not seek to try and prevent publication or distribution of the book, but would seek to prevent any proceeds from sales reaching Snowden.

The suit also names the publisher of the book, Pan Macmillan, and says that the company has been included to prevent any money from sales being paid to Snowden.

“Edward Snowden has violated an obligation he undertook to the United States when he signed agreements as part of his employment by the CIA and as an NSA contractor,” said assistant attorney-general Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.

“The United States’ ability to protect sensitive national security information depends on employees’ and contractors’ compliance with their non-disclosure agreements, including their pre-publication review obligations.

"This lawsuit demonstrates that the Department of Justice does not tolerate these breaches of the public’s trust. We will not permit individuals to enrich themselves, at the expense of the United States, without complying with their pre-publication review obligations.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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