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The man who risked everything to expose the mass surveillance program of the U.S. government, Edward Snowden, tells the story of his life for the first time, including how he helped build the system and what inspired him to try to bring it down.

In 2013, when he broke with the American intelligence community, 29-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world and announced that the U.S. government is secretly seeking the means to capture every phone call, text message, and address. The outcome would be an unparalleled mass surveillance program with the power to pry every person on earth into their private lives. Six years later, for the very first time, Snowden explains how he helped create this process and why he was motivated to expose it. 

Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his youth and the secret CIA and NSA posts of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary story of a bright young man who grew up online— a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the conscience of the Internet. Written with wit, charm, zeal, and unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a key memory of our digital age and intended to be a classic.