The U.S. government filed a lawsuit Tuesday against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, alleging he violated nondisclosure agreements by publishing a memoir without giving the government an opportunity to review it first.
Snowden, who fled the U.S.in 2013 and has been living in Russian Federation, reacted to the lawsuit on Twitter by posting a link promoting his book's release and a statement from an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The lawsuit notes that it is not trying to restrict the distribution of Snowden's book, titled "Permanent Record".
The filing alleges that Snowden violated his non-disclosure agreements by failing to submit his manuscript to the agencies for pre-publication review, as is a standard process for former employees and contractors of the agencies. It offers an expansive account of how he came to reveal secret details about the government's mass collection of emails, phone calls and Internet activity in the name of national security.
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Snowden captured the world's attention in June 2013 after he allegedly removed more than 1.5 million classified US documents while working as a contractor for the NSA in Hawaii.
The civil lawsuit against Snowden, who is living in Russian Federation after leaking information about the USA government´s mass surveillance program, accuses him of violating non-disclosure agreements he signed with the Central Intelligence Agency and NSA. From there, Snowden fled to Russian Federation, where he was granted asylum until 2017.
"Intelligence information should protect our nation, not provide personal profit". "This is the book the government does not want you to read". 'This lawsuit will ensure that Edward Snowden receives no monetary benefits from breaching the trust placed in him'.
The lawsuit on Tuesday represents the latest chapter of a bitter legal and public relations fight between Snowden, who has been living in Russian Federation since he sought refuge there in 2013, and Republican and Democratic administrations, which have accused him of jeopardizing national security through his leaks to reporters. His publisher "has no legitimate claim to Snowden's Earnings, which properly belong to the United States".
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"Had Mr. Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review".
Snowden writes in the book that his seven years working for the NSA and CIA led him to conclude the USA intelligence community "hacked the Constitution" and put everyone's liberty at risk and that he had no choice but to turn to journalists to reveal it to the world.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the whistleblower-in-exile said that he would return to the United States, but only if he believed he would receive a fair trial.
"I'm not asking for a parade", Snowden added. "I'm not asking for a pardon", he told CBS News. But in the civil suit filed Tuesday, federal prosecutors say public remarks where he has discussed his tenure with the C.I.A. and N.S.A. amount to a violation of his employment agreements.
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Greene said he expects the government will argue that the facts disclosed are irrelevant and that a review is contractually required regardless.