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Permanent Record

Written by: Edward Snowden
Narrated by: Holter Graham
Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
5 out of 5 stars (123 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Edward Snowden, the man who risked everything to expose the US government’s system of mass surveillance, reveals for the first time the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to bring it down. 

In 2013, 29-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it. 

Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online – a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic. 

©2019 Edward Snowden (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

eye opener

one of the best book so for I read even I writing this comment means someone tracking my activity

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Better than expected

Edward Snowden refuses to be stereotyped! He comes out as a visionary, philosopher, and a normal human being, in addition to all he has been in the quest for a free and better society for everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Incredible insight into the life of selfless hero

Having grown up around the same timeline as Snowden, I had similar encounters with technology and even now have a web design job except I didnt have a crush.

I vividly remember those dailup modem days of internet and online forums like digitalpoint used to be my hang out spots before social media. Luckily back in the day we where aware of our online trail and kept it pretty clean. Even today I try my level best to keep a very close tab on what information I share online.

If you are into technology you can pretty much see the use of every connected device for surveillance. Those in corridors of power crave for control and with private information their tasks become easier.

Mass surveillance is a reality and surveillance states with AI and facial recognition is giving unprecedented power at the hands of the govt. Like we are seeing in HongKong, the odds are stacked against the average Joe.

The governments and corporate companies around the world are collecting data on such an enormous scale, passively, and creating a permanent record for everyone..

This should scare everyone of us

If it did Snowden wouldnt have to be a whistleblower and branded a traitor



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Privacy protection time has come.

It's high time we move on from nationalism to humanism and follow suit with technology. We also must respect the importance of security of our private data.

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go for it!

first Audio book that i tried... glad that i did! amazing pace... intersection information.... intriguing storyline... well compiled... go for it!

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Must listen/read. This perspective is important.

Edward Snowden, well done. Food for thought for every single person today. More power to people like you.

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Revealing.

Revealing account of how important privacy was and still remains in our life. Through this book Edward snowden has summarized the importance of data. Finishing the book kind of numbs one into thinking the various ways people, organisations and institutions pry open the 'individual' for their own goals. He clearly and emphatically builds his case for his whistleblowing , and tugs the inner soul of 'individuals' that yearns for freedom.
Kudos to the great champion of privacy who put his and his family's life for a principle.
Don't miss this one.

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Gripping


It is the memoir of one of the most famous Whistle blowers, who had exposed the Mass surveillance system of CIA, NSA and the Governments.

What he did was a suicidal attempt in order to save the privacy of the whole world

In the background of 9/11 attack, USA Govt has created a secret surveillance of not just the people with suspicious activity, but also of each and every one on the planet, irrespective of the Consent of their Governments and that of the individual. They started collecting and storing the data and metadata of each and everyone's lives.

Edward Snowden was working for CIA when he discovered that the government is going against its own constitution and creating/created a global mass surveillance.

To explain in brief, what ever button you press or letters you type into any computer/mobile device, Govt can see what you are doing, where u are, what u are talking, your photos, your browser history, anything which is not encrypted, can be seen by the govt.

Obviously, the surveillance over their own staff would be far more conscious.

In this book, Snowden described how he had overcome the obstacles.

His journey is nail biting.

This is very good read and everyone who is using the technology should definitely read this.

My rating 4.5/5.00.

Cons: first half of the book is a little lengthy and a bit boring. But the same was justified by the second half.
🙏

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    3 out of 5 stars

Privacy is a double-edged Sword

I could not agree with most of Snowdon's view. That's because my country still faces frequent terrorist attacks which demands surveillance. Just a few days back two truck drivers were gunned down by terrorists for minding their business.

I'm of the view that my representatives, even though they behave like one, need to push for more stringent policy so that they can get information about next terrorist attacks easily.

And no one could talk about privacy if they own a smartphone.

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A well articulated story based on Snowden's view

I could relate with Snowden's upbringing and his fascination with technology. At lot of times i connected back to my own childhood when he was describing his first encounters with video games, computer and other technology in general. He took a great risk in revealing the secret operations involving NSA and CIA, which is definitely a very bold step that very few humans would even think of. He does admit to lot of illegal things he did (war driving and cracking WEP!), which when compared to the illegal things NSA and CIA does is a small mole on front of a mountain. I hope this catalyses much required changes in how privacy is handled by both private corporations and governments.

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  • Nelson Jonas/zulaika zurita
  • 28-09-19

Revealing and immensely sad

I loved the whole thing. Learnt quite a bit about the violations performed by governments and private companies on our privacy, but also about the bravery of Edward himself and the sadness of his story.

This book has fully opened my half closed eyes and I now feel inspired to do something about the situation. Exactly what I am not sure. We'll see.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss Valda Petersen
  • 12-11-19

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!

I absolutely loved this book. If you’re someone with any technology in your life and you’re on social media or online, you need to read this book. Edward Snowden’s story is mind boggling and moving. He has sacrificed so much to do the right thing. 😃 I am also amazed at how much I could relate to his upbringing and his love of tech. His story reminded me of my own journey of discovery and the wonder of getting to know the World Wide Web. His insights on the state of technology and the Internet are thought provoking and I believe quite accurate. 5 stars for this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David Robinson
  • 05-11-19

History will call him a Hero

When I first saw the breaking news about the leaked documents I called him a traitor, but over time and as more information came to light that view changed.

Listening to his story I feel ashamed I ever thought he was a traitor and I would like to think that if i was in his shoes that I would have the courage to do what he did.

Privacy is a fundamental right and he will be seen as a hero in the long run. Thank you for your service and what you did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe Cincotta
  • 27-10-19

Compulsory Reading

This book should be compulsory reading for high school students - and I would recommend this book for everyone.

An example of how to act aligned with your principles. An eye opening look into the surveillance state and the surveillance economy. A guide to encryption and personal security in a digital world. A thrilling story. A moving memoir. All in one book.

Well written, well read (audiobook). My respect for Mr Snowden grew deeper with this book and I enjoyed it immensely.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-10-19

He dared to tell, dare to listen?

This is a very well written testimony, a thrilling story of the citizen Edward Snowden and his choice to tell us about an ongoing attack on our freedom by the systematic collection, storing and processing of our personal data, our personal life’s. Despite his personal cost, he chose to tell the story only he could tell. It is a breathtaking story, that most likely will change the way you feel about your devices and their cameras. It is a story we all should listen to - if you dare.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • W. Eric
  • 09-10-19

Great book, fantastic narration

I was long waiting to understand the man and his ideologies behind Edward Snowden. The storyline and -structure is captivating from the beginning to the end. Every point he makes to justify his actions, is completely valid and demonstrates very well how corrupt and broken our system is. I can only press anyone to read or listen to this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-11-19

Classic

excellent book. 10 times better than Snowden movie. hes a real life hero. would of been better if he had of voiced it himself

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  • Con Tsonis PhD
  • 24-11-19

Excellent

Excellent account. Great to learn more about who he was and why he risked everything! Brave to do what he did. Thank you Edward.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-11-19

Beautiful truth

This book makes thnk twice about being on my device and how i should be aware this happening

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-19

Just what the World Needed.

If you use a smartphone, buy this book. If you use a laptop, buy this book . If you are living in the 21st century, buy this book.

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  • Pen Name
  • 18-10-19

Superbly written, totally gripping.

I can't recommend it highly enough.
I imagine just about everyone on the planet knows the general gist of Edward Snowden's story and his place in history. I followed his story carefully, watched interviews, watched Citizenfour, and the Stone movie. But the details revealed in this book still made my jaw drop. I had to replay several sections to make sure I wasn't hearing things.Truly scary stuff.
Snowden, I'm sure, was an extremely meticulous programmer/analyst/administrator. That fact doesn't necessarily guarantee he's going to be a good writer. But he most certainly is; the writing is superb, beautifully crafted, compelling stuff.
I've had a career in IT, so the technical stuff was of great interest to me. And it's detailed so clearly that someone without a technical background would still understand it.
The narration is excellent too, read by someone who seems to genuinely understand what he's reading, and to convey it 'from the heart'. An absolute must-read/must listen. And if, in writing this review, I've now appeared on some watch list somewhere: great! - I'm in excellent company!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-09-19

such a great insight into Edward Snowdens life

I loved the book and just couldn't put it down, it gave a real insight to him growing and getting to where he is today. He is a very clever man and one that will go down in the history books!
To Ed, thank you for sharing your stories and your adventures and I hope you and Lindsey live happily.
To NSA/CIA thanks for listening and looking up my nose! 👍🏼

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 26-09-19

Unbelievable

The fight for privacy as a basic human right continues!
I feel complete administration for Snowden, risking everything to stand for truth!
I hope to meet him one day!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-10-19

Beyond Belief

If this was a fiction work you would’ve said it’s a bit far fetched. The fact that the US Government is upset at this book’s release says it all. Technical details are explained in a clear & engaging manner. It’s very well written and was hard to put down. My favourite book of the year. It’s very important to be informed.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul S
  • 30-09-19

Thoughtful, eye opening, very personal biography

What a great listen. A great book with a tremendous true story. Hard to put down. Turkey world changing

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • markj
  • 14-10-19

Listen to this!

A fascinating insight into the truth behind the headlines as well as into Snowden himself. With the daily flow of news we often lack the perspective to see how events lead one to another, and Snowden does a good job of trying to explain in straightforward language how 9/11 and the political changes - not just in the US, but globally - in the subsequent years, opened the way to intelligence gathering on a massive and indiscriminate scale. For those who think that privacy is something on which we can compromise or - worse still - a commodity, this is a cautionary account.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Aaron Shimmons
  • 24-10-19

Very enjoyable and informative

I highly recommend this book. It went into enough detail to document how/why/what next for Ed the famous whistleblower

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Toby
  • 22-09-19

A good summary

Enough detail to provide context. Some interesting asides. Not so much to be gratuitous

A good cap on the episode. Hopefully not the end of the story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • D. Kirwan
  • 27-09-19

Turnkey Architecture of Oppression

Very easy to read, would recommend this book, very informative.
Having read this book, I'm on a list, forever.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Catshark
  • 16-10-19

Everyone should read this book

Whatever you think of Ed Snowden's actions, you owe it to yourself to read this book. It gives the listener a fascinating insight into the world of modern spying.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Ash Fielding
  • 04-11-19

Snowden - a modern day hero

Amazing work from Snowden. Exposing corruption in governments worldwide. He is a true hero.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • daniel
  • 06-11-19

absolutely amazing

Edward Snowden is a hero to the entire world this book is a MUST GET

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-19

if only it was read by Snowden

would have been nice to hear Snowden himself read this, but was great regardless
recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Djamba
  • 12-11-19

Must read for everyone in the modern world

Absolute MUST READ (or listen) book for anyone who uses a pc, smartphone, email or social media. This guy is a true blue hero who gave up bus entire life to expose disgusting overreach of government surveillance in our lives.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 11-11-19

Inspirational!!!

This should be added to every modern history curriculum around the world.

PS. Hello NSA

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael W. Gilmore
  • 09-11-19

Brilliant! Brave! Bravo!

A must read/listen book for everyone. The abuse of power and technology is truly freighting. Thank you Ed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tooraj
  • 16-10-19

Every story has two sides

Every story has two sides!

I enjoyed hearing Edwatd’s side of the story. You be your own judge as to which side of the story you believe!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-11-19

Angering, hopeful, and ultimately satisfying.

Snowden's story should be taught in schools alongside 1984, as a call to vigilance and empowerment to personal freedom.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-11-19

Incredible!

Absolutely brilliant read & insight that most people haven’t, &/or don’t, consider. Fascinating & educational on every level!

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  • Dennis
  • 19-11-19

A great piece of fiction ;-)

it's amazing this book. It confirmed for me what I always believed. Don't track me