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Edward Snowden speaks live from Russia during the annual Web Summit conference on Nov. 2019. Photo: Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A federal court issued a ruling allowing the U.S. government to seize $5.2 million of royalties and other profits from the publication of Edward Snowden's memoir, "Permanent Record," the Justice Department announced on Thursday.

The big picture: The court's decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by the government against Snowden last year for violating non-disclosure agreements he signed with the CIA and NSA.

  • The suit alleged that Snowden published his memoir without undergoing pre-publication review for classified information.
  • The lawsuit sought to recover all money earned from the book, but did not seek to restrict publication, DOJ said.

The big picture: The lawsuit is separate from criminal charges brought against Snowden in 2013 under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking highly classified information on government surveillance programs, the agency notes.

What they're saying: “Edward Snowden violated his legal obligations to the United States, and therefore, his unlawful financial gains must be relinquished to the government,” deputy attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement.

The other side: "This is not like he’s going to fork over the money. This gives them a judgment they were going to get anyways,” Lawrence Lustberg, one of Snowden’s lawyers, told CNN last month after he agreed to give up the proceeds from the book in a Sept. 18 filing.

Go deeper

More than 30 states sue Google, alleging illegal search monopoly

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 38 states and territories sued Google Thursday, accusing the company of a multi-pronged effort to maintain an illegal monopoly.

Why it matters: It's the third antitrust lawsuit against Google in as many months, setting up the company for legal battles on multiple fronts.

37 mins ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.