Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Justice Department Sues Edward Snowden Over His Failure To Submit Manuscript of New Book for Pre-Publication Review

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Edward Snowden, claiming that the publication violates the non-disclosure agreement he signed as an employee of a company that contracted with the NSA and was also an employee with the CIA. Under these agreements, employees of the government or employees of companies that contract with the government must seek releases to disclose information that they obtain during their employment. The DOJ contends that Mr. Snowden has never received such a release and did not submit the book, Permanent Record, published by Macmillan, for pre-publication release to either the CIA or the NSA for examination before allowing any other person to read the manuscript.


More here from NPR, a press release from the Department of Justice, and NBC News. 

A number of former CIA employees are suing over the agency prepublication review system, alleging that it ends by redacting too much material from manuscripts that criticize the agency or its policies. More here.

In 1980, the Supreme Court found in favor of a lower court decision that created a constructive trust composed of a former CIA employee's profits for the benefit of the government, when the employee failed to submit a manuscript for pre-publication review. See Snepp v. United States, 444 U.S. 507 (1980).

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