Permanent Record by Edward Snowden – Book Review

The Snowden Story, in his Words

Almost everyone knows the name Edward Snowden by now. He’s one of the most polarizing characters of the past decade. Some people associate his name with the word “traitor” because that’s exactly the narrative painted by our government and media. “He’s the guy that defected to Russia, right?” Well…kind of, but not really. Reading the story of Edward Snowden from his own words is like stepping behind the scenes into an almost completely opposite scene from what is widely known and accepted. One of the things that I have always asked about his story is how he could walk away from his wife and family like that. It’s something I hope most of us cannot imagine. Hearing his story about that struggle in making the decision to unmask the mass surveillance program is an emotional journey. The depression he must have felt as he distanced himself from his wife seems almost unbearable.

Ongoing Surveillance

This is the result of two decades of unchecked innovation—the final product of a political and professional class that dreams itself your master. No matter the place, no matter the time, and no matter what you do, your life has now become an open book.

Edward Snowden, Permanent Record

Data management and privacy are still huge topics and concerns in our world, nothing has changed there. We don’t hear about government surveillance much anymore. It’s still going on. It will be forever. Every bit of information you ever store on a phone, computer, tablet…you can rest assured, will be stored on government servers in case you ever decide to do something that goes against the accepted narrative. It’s like keeping a permanent record for opposition research…that hasn’t been conducted yet. That creeps me out, but it doesn’t look like there is much we can do about it.

Whether you choose to believe Snowden’s story of how he came to his decision to step away from everything he loved in order to expose a fundamental erosion of privacy or not is up to you, but I do think there’s value to hearing his side of the story. I can’t see any way that he would have thought he had something to gain by divulging that information, he knew his life would be over. Maybe at some point we’ll have a political party that isn’t 100% self serving by causing conflict and division. I’m not going to hold my breath. The link above is for the Kindle version of the book, but you can grab it in paperback or audiobook format from there also. If you’re a reader like me, you should definitely check out my review of the Kindle Paperwhite 2022, it’s the best e-reader on the market right now.

Entertaining and insightful, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in tech, politics, or the Snowden story in general.

Score: 8/10

Great Read

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