Book Corner 2019.47

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Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

From Wikipedia: “Edward Joseph Snowden is an American whistleblower who copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013 when he was a Central Intelligence Agency employee and subcontractor. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA…”

He is now living in Russia, as he is wanted in the US for espionage. Here’s his very engrossing story of how and why he did what he did. Once he decided on the right thing to do, and once he decided that he’d actually do it, there was no turning back. It’s amazing to hear the tenacity it took him to get all the incriminating information together, and get it out of the NSA without being detected; he used a smartphone and a tiny chip. He flew to Hong Kong to make his revelation, and waited a painful number of days for the appropriate journalists to fly out and meet him and get his story out to the world. From there he tried to get to Ecuador, but was detained in Russia, and there he stays.

He does use a lot of acronyms and go into a lot of technical detail, but does a pretty good job of simplifying it and not letting his story get bogged down.

There’s a happy ending. His girlfriend eventually joined him in Russia and married him. She does seem like a keeper, if the two make an apparently odd pair – he’s a techno guy, she’s some kind of artist into yoga and pole dancing. Whatever; they met on the website HotOrNot, and the rest was history. ( )

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