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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.

53 mins ago - World

Former spy Steele defends controversial Trump Russia dossier

Former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele arrives at the High Court in London in July 2020. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The author of the "Steele Dossier," containing unverified claims about former President Trump told ABC News he stands by his controversial report, according to excerpts from an upcoming documentary published Sunday.

Why it matters: Former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele's dossier was used as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russia's government.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.