When Edward Snowden decided to share the cache of classified material detailing America’s massive secret data collection and surveillance operations that he’d stolen from the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and private security company Booz Allen Hamilton, he reached out to investigative journalist and surveillance expert Glenn Greenwald. Also the author of With Liberty for Some and A Tragic Legacy, Greenwald won numerous prestigious rewards for breaking Snowden’s story. His accolades for his follow-up reporting on the contents of Snowden’s leaks and on the US political and legal response to them included the Pulitzer Prize (co-winner) and the 2013 George Polk Award for security reporting. This book details his interactions with Snowden, the press and the government. Because of Greenwald’s reputation as an excellent investigative journalist, Snowden regarded him as trustworthy and unlikely to allow the US security apparatus or what he viewed as the usual collusion between major US newspapers and the US government to intimidate him. Greenwald’s narrative of his first contact with Snowden, their correspondence and their eventual meeting is a riveting read. His breakdown of the most widespread, dangerous practices of the NSA and related eavesdropping agencies is, by and large, almost as fascinating. The book is gripping to this point. However, its final portion, featuring Greenwald’s strong opinions about today’s surveillance culture and the complicit role that he feels most media outlets play, gets tiresome. Greenwald seems a lesser writer when describing his views rather than reporting facts. At the same time, considering that he has endured being watched, harassed and threatened with legal action and the forced end of his career, he may have the right to get a little strident. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends Greenwald’s best-selling inside look at Edward Snowden and US surveillance policies to every US citizen and anyone concerned about privacy.
About the Author
Former constitutional attorney Glenn Greenwald also wrote With Liberty for Some and A Tragic Legacy. A co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize, he won the 2013 George Polk Award for Security Reporting and numerous other honors. He is a columnist for The Guardian (London).