The U.S. government on Tuesday sued former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, alleging he violated nondisclosure agreements when he published a memoir without giving the government a chance to review it first, the AP reports.
The Justice Department aims to “recover all proceeds” from the book, which came out Tuesday, the report notes.
“Snowden published his book, ‘Permanent Record,’ without submitting it for a pre-publication review, in violation of non-disclosure agreements he signed with both the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency, the Justice Department alleges,” the AP reports.
The report adds: “In his memoir, Snowden tells his life story in detail for the first time and explains why he chose to risk his freedom to become perhaps the most famous whistleblower of all time. 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.”
Snowden, who was charged under the U.S. Espionage Act, is now living in Russia to avoid arrest, the AP reports.
Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt is quoted saying in a statement: “The United States’ ability to protect sensitive national security information depends on employees’ and contractors’ compliance with their non-disclosure agreements, including their pre-publication review obligations. We will not permit individuals to enrich themselves, at the expense of the United States, without complying with their pre-publication review obligations.”
Snowden responded to the suit with a tweet in which he said it’s “hard to think of a greater stamp of authenticity than the US government filing a lawsuit claiming your book is so truthful that it was literally against the law to write.”