Thoughts on Permanent Record.
I took on Edward Snowden’s book last weekend for a 24 hour Readathon, of which 10 hours were consumed reading it. I decided to write my thoughts here. Warning! I definitely am not a book reviewer!
Not only did I follow the revelations back in 2013, I also followed one of the cases that developed directly as a result. The case was Lavabit V. United States, (or Lavabit,) as the service itself wasn’t operational at the time. This is the reason I read Snowden’s book. I wanted to figure out why he did things the way he did them.
Overall, I thought the book was good. Snowden is definitely a good writer! He made me laugh a lot, and taught me some more things about how the IC works. It did jump around quite a bit, which made me think things were a bit out of order, but OK. I was also reading the Kindle version with the Kindle for PC, so that could have definitely been part of the issue.
When he got to the place where he started mentioning that he was contacting journalists using encrypted email, I waited. He mentioned that he threw a CryptoParty with Runa Sandvik in Hawaii 6 months before the revelations. She did as well. She also mentioned:
He first contacted me on November 27, 2012, using email@example.com as his email address.
He did point out the fact that he used Cincinnatus as an identifier, but not where the address went to after that. He went on to mention the other identifiers/addresses as well, but not the destinations.
There are several reasons why I can think of why this was the case. It’s possible that since it was already widely known, one might think that it wouldn’t be important. It’s also possible, (yet doubtful,) that there are some secret legal issues still going on. Hint: FISA. Although I’d think that would be over by now.
Despite the cliffhanger, I thought the book was a good one to spend nearly half a Readathon on. I’d like to listen to the audio version, I’m sure his narrations make it a lot more interesting.