In a statement, the US Justice Department said the book Permanent Record had not been submitted for pre-publication review. "Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Snowden has given public speeches on intelligence-related matters, also in violation of his non-disclosure agreements," the DoJ said.
The announcement that Snowden would be publishing a book has generated a great deal of interest. This writer ordered a copy from Amazon a few days back and was told that it would reach on 18 September.
This morning, Amazon emailed to say that the shipment would now be delayed until 23 September. Whether this has anything to do with the government's action is unknown. Amazon has a US$600 million services contract with the CIA and is vying for a US$10 billion Pentagon contract known as JEDI.
When I wrote this line on the third page of PERMANENT RECORD, I never imagined the government would underline it with a lawsuit on the very first day of publication: pic.twitter.com/bGgLlNJvhD— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 17, 2019
The suit also names the publisher of the book, Pan Macmillan, and says that the company has been included to prevent any money from sales being paid to Snowden.
“Edward Snowden has violated an obligation he undertook to the United States when he signed agreements as part of his employment by the CIA and as an NSA contractor,” said assistant attorney-general Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.
“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.
"This lawsuit demonstrates that the Department of Justice does not tolerate these breaches of the public’s trust. We will not permit individuals to enrich themselves, at the expense of the United States, without complying with their pre-publication review obligations.”