In 2013, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The goal was to create an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Now, for the first time, Snowden discloses his key role in building this system and why he was moved to expose it, in his memoir Permanent Record.

The extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online, Permanent Record spans the Beltway suburbs of Snowden’s childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, revealing personal details that have never been previously covered. The book follows Snowden through the formative early days of the internet, with its spirit of egalitarianism and anonymity, to his earliest hacker experiments, his unconventional education in the free spaces of the wild web and to his patriotic impulse to join the army after 9/11.

At once a thrilling spy story, including never-before-disclosed details of how he smuggled the evidence out of the government’s lawlessness, and a powerful account of his life-altering decision to expose the misdeeds of the intelligence agencies, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age, destined to be a classic. It is also a love story, revealing for the first time details of the life of Snowden’s partner, Lindsay Mills. Above all, it is a deeply moving and vivid portrait of one man’s struggle to live his deepest values, despite great personal sacrifice and the loss of home.

In this video, Edward speaks exclusively to The Guardian about his life in exile, his relationship with his partner and Donald Trump. 


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Book cover for Permanent Record

Permanent Record

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLEREdward Snowden, the man who risked everything to expose the US government’s system of mass surveillance, reveals for the first time the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to brin...