Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the government is entitled to any proceeds from speeches and a book authored by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Snowden is currently living under asylum in Russia after the government unsealed espionage charges against him in 2013 for leaking classified information. The Justice Department has argued that its inability to prosecute Snowden justifies halting the royalties he's reaped from what may be the largest security breach in U.S. history, per the Post.

  • Snowden argues that he is not revealing new information in his public speeches, and that the government never would have reviewed his manuscript "in a good faith and timely fashion."
  • Snowden has said he would like to return to the U.S. but only if he is allowed to defend himself in a trial by arguing that he acted in the public's best interest. That defense is not permitted in U.S. courts.

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