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U.S. sues Edward Snowden for profits from new memoir

Snowden looking at a laptop.
Photo: Barton Gellman/Getty Images

The United States filed a lawsuit Tuesday against former CIA employee and NSA contractor Edward Snowden alleging his memoir violates non-disclosure disagreements.

  • The lawsuit argues Snowden did not allow the agencies to review his book before publication, as had been required by a signed agreement. While the lawsuit will not attempt to stop publication of Snowden's book book, Permanent Record, it does seek to recover all proceeds earned by Snowden because of the violation.
  • Snowden leaked a series of confidential documents to journalists in 2013 while working as an NSA contractor. The information revealed previously unknown details about the state of citizen surveillance in the U.S.

What they're saying:

"The United States’ ability to protect sensitive national security information depends on employees’ and contractors’ compliance... We will not permit individuals to enrich themselves, at the expense of the United States, without complying with their pre-publication review obligations."
— Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.

The state of play: Snowden has been on a press parade ahead of his memoir's release. In an interview, Snowden told "CBS This Morning" he would agree to return to the U.S. if he could settle on negotiations for a "fair trial."

Go deeper: Snowden says Biden warned countries not to grant him asylum