Court rules Edward Snowden’s book earnings should go to US gov’t

US government sued the whistle-blower over the publication of his book, Permanent Record, which it said violated NDAs.

Edward Snowded speaks via video link
Edward Snowden speaks via video link as he takes part in a discussion about his book Permanent Record with German journalist Holger Stark in Berlin, Germany, September 17, 2019 [Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

The United States is entitled to more than $5.2m from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s book royalties, a federal court ruled this week, according to the US Department of Justice.

In a statement on Thursday, the department said the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia had on Tuesday also ruled in favour of setting up a trust for the government for any future earnings from Snowden’s book, which had been the subject of a federal lawsuit.

A lawyer for Snowden did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In September 2019, the US government sued Snowden, who resides in Russia, over his publication of Permanent Record, a book which the US says violated non-disclosure agreements he signed when working for both the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The US alleges Snowden published the book without first submitting it to US agencies for pre-publication review, in violation of agreements he signed when working for the agencies.

US authorities did not seek to block publication of Snowden’s book but rather to seize all proceeds.

Last December, a federal court in Virginia found Snowden did breach his obligations to the CIA and NSA but reserved judgement on possible remedies.

In an order issued on Tuesday, the court entered a judgement in the US government’s favour for more than $5.2m.

The civil litigation over the book is separate from criminal charges prosecutors filed against Snowden under a 1917 US espionage law.

Source: Reuters