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My Rating - 5 out of 5 stars

Publisher - Macmillan
Genre - Non-Fiction/Memoir
Publishing year - 2019
Language - English
ISBN - 978-15-29035-667
Pages - 340

My Review - 

I start reading Permanent Record in November 2020, but personal fiestas and other book review projects kept me away from this book. Now, I finish this one, and my head is spinning with all the discoveries and information. It's not like that I didn't know anything about the content I'm going to read. It is just that the experience of Edward Snowden penned down by him creates a whole new reality. 

I exactly remember the newspaper articles filled with Edward Snowden's revelations and me reading them. He piqued my interest and curiosity from that day; it is not easy to become a whistleblower, come forward with the government's secrets projects, and be labeled a traitor. I watch almost all videos of him and the documentary Citizenfour, so not reading the book is out of the question. 

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked the documents associated with mass surveillance executed by NSA (National Security Agency) and CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). It shook the whole world and changed his life forever. He can't come to the USA because he will have to face severe punishment if he does. Currently, he is living in Moscow in exile. 

This is the first time when I read the first-hand account of a whistleblower. He worked in the system, helped the government to create software, and there came a time when he started questioning everything. His conscience encouraged him to expose the government. But it was not easy. 

In this memoir, he describes how he took data out of the NSA premises and the person who helped him overseas, the way he worked on every detail, his family and girlfriend, the government agencies and how they fool everyone, and many more. This book will make you realize that how vulnerable we are, and nothing can be hidden from those who know where to look for. 

He addressed many software and programs, and if you search them online after or while reading this book, you're in the system, according to the author. He even stated that they would know if you're reading or buying this book online because they are closely watching those people, so I'm guessing I make the cut as well because I indeed search numerous terms like XKEYSCORE, STELLAR WIND, OPTIC NERVE, etc.

While presenting technical terms, Edward Snowden describes the details so that a general reader can understand them clearly. Even if there's a chance that you don't know about him, sweat not; this book will give you brief details and open your eye to a whole new world of manipulations and political agendas. 

Can anyone forget the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal? It is indisputable that they manipulate millions of American users to support Donald Trump win the presidential election without their knowledge. It is one of the few things that come into the light, but there are still many in the dark. This book is a must-read if you use technology in any way. It will give you a new perspective and make you think twice before putting anything online. I highly recommend it.

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