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Edward Snowden


The Book in 3 Sentences

This is the autobiography of Edward Snowden, the CIA and later NSA technologist who revealed the extent of the nation’s mass surveillance program to the world. While it is well known that he leaked a huge archive of classified documents to the press, the extend to which the government was spying on its citizens and the repercussions of his actions are not as well understood.


I have always been concerned about privacy. To me, it seems like a hidden threat that is not well enough understood by the average person. Yet whenever I am asked to defend The importance of privacy and the dangers of mass surveillance to others, I struggle to find the right words. Snowden is both an eloquent writer and speaker, and his book is the best argument we have for the importance of privacy. The being said, I wish the book included a few pages describing exactly the problem we’re facing, how it affects everyday people, and what we need to do to fix it.

How the Book Changed Me

This book didn’t change me too profoundly, as through my own research and experience I’ve come to learn about many of the dangers he speaks of, yet it did convince me all the more of the importance of fighting for our right to privacy.

Top 3 Highlights

In the 1990s, the Internet had yet to fall victim to the greatest iniquity in digital history: the move by both government and businesses to link, as intimately as possible, users’ online personas to their offline legal identity.

Edward Snowden

Distance favors intimacy: no one talks more openly than when they’re alone in a room, chatting with an unseen someone alone in a different room. Meet that person, however, and you lose your latitude. Your talk becomes safer and tamer, a common conversation on neutral ground.

Edward Snowden

Saying that you don’t need or want privacy because you have nothing to hide is to assume that no one should have, or could have, to hide anything—including their immigration status, unemployment history, financial history, and health records. — Edward Snowden


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Anonymity Facilitates Changing Opinions