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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 (36 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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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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Touching story

One of the most interesting autobiography i have read in recent times. Its honest and touching. The presentation is also great. A highly recommended book for anyone who uses a computer on a daily basis.

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Right to privacy

You do a google search or apply for a job or shown interest in Snowden's book all of which falls in a government watchlist. In your next web activity a malware is sent to your device. Your device is now hacked , all your phone calls , chats , emails , photos ... is now available to the government , your camera now live streams video without your knowledge. Sounds too unrealistic / dystopian ? A must read if you care about privacy

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Ordinary life, extra-ordinary deed, inspirational story

Stories all too known by now via various renderings - fictional & non-fictional. This one is all that & much more. It's personal. It's a view that as much author wanted others to understand about him, also a view that's meant for readers to recognise in themselves. Content inside is timeless especially for my 3-yr old daughter & their generation who will be succumbed into the black-hole of state-initiated surveillance. It might happen with their consent (all thanks to the sold-out mainstream & mind-controlling social media). Messages in here will be the last testament of common sense & a valuable testimony to how to fight for fundamental rights. A life-changing experience.

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Excellent !

Good read, very interesting... a great sacrifice and good knowledgable book. Must Read for all !

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-10-19

Realy good book

loved it, it's a good book. knowing how the internet began and to where it's now the internet is a lot safer.

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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.

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  • Rogerm
  • 13-10-19

Looking over your shoulder?

Wow this is really scary if you have ever indulged in anything you are not proud of.

It’s a well written and read account.

Most interesting and highly recommended.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-10-19

Modern day hero

Loved it, but skipped a couple of the early chapters because his childhood wasn't anything particularly interesting.

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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

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  • giulia regan
  • 08-10-19

courage

Its a good book ,the message and the story make for essential reading.The narrator was terrible his voice and accent really grinding on me,but the enormity of the story flattened any audio aesthetical concern.Good luck Ed and Lindsey

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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! 👍🏼

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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!

2 of 2 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

2 of 2 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!

2 of 2 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.

1 of 1 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.

1 of 1 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.

1 of 1 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.

1 of 1 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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 23-10-19

Gee thanks Ed

Ed at the end of this book: now that you’ve downloaded and listened this book, you’re definitely on a list. Thanks for telling us at the END of the book!

I’m (mostly) kidding. Thoroughly human, gripping story about one man who found himself in a position of huge power with his ideals intact and decided to act, risking everything to follow his sense of right.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-10-19

awakening!!

This book will change your perception of things you overlook without hesitation in your daily life.

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  • Jeremy lewis
  • 17-10-19

Must read

Very eye opening. Snowden is one of the few who is steering civilisation away from the 1984 dystopia.

Read it, understand it, share it!

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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!

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  • Concerned Australian
  • 11-10-19

Great book, true hero...

We need to do much more to protect an individuals privacy from surveillance states & rogue entities...

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-10-19

Everyone needs to read this book

Highly recommend this book to anyone that owns a device and is online which is everyone

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  • Matt Morse NZ
  • 09-10-19

First few chapters are about his life and upbrin

First few chapters are about his early life and upbringing but you get into the meat of it soon after. Basicly a educational documentary on US Mass surveillance. Great book.

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  • nigel Murphy
  • 08-10-19

excellent book

love it.
very interesting and also read very.
well written and keeps you interested.
well done

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  • Davide
  • 30-09-19

Thank you

To be read.
Everyone owes him that.

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you
Thank you

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-09-19

Probably the most relevant book of 20xx

However you feel about Snowden, it would be foolish not to listen to what he says.