Permanent Record Book Cover

Permanent Record

Publishing Year: 2019
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Edward Snowden took the American establishment by storm when he blew the whistle on the mass systems of surveillance, deployed by the US government on its citizens, in 2013. Permanent Record is Snowden’s memoir that records his early life, his journey to becoming a spy, and the reasons that drove him to unmask the sophisticated systems that intrude into our privacy, and spy on us.

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Lesson 1. Childhood and the Internet.

Edward Snowden grew up on the internet of the ‘90s. Unlike today, there was no Google or Facebook back then. The internet landscape was devoid of rules and regulations, and comprised amateur websites and forums. It was mostly the domain of tech specialists, who used it to share information, under different online identities. 

Snowden belonged to a family of high ranking government officials. His mother hailed from a long line of military officials, and was a government clerk herself. His father was a technical engineer for the Coast Guard.

The Snowdens shifted to Fort Meade, an important US army center in Maryland, when his mother began a new job at the NSA. Edward was nine at that time. 

As a child, Edward had no interest in becoming a government spy. He was fascinated with technology. He would spend his time either playing with, or taking apart, electronic equipment. When his family first brought home a computer with an internet connection, Edward got so enamoured by it that he began spending all his time online.  

He began reading about technology and politics online. The internet satiated his curiosity about technology and the world in general. He joined online communities where he interacted with tech nerds from all round the globe. 

They shared information, argued on and discussed issues like hardware problems, cheat codes, and even world politics. These online interactions had a profound influence on Edward. 

The internet also provided the additional benefit of anonymity. In real life, he was an awkward thirteen year old teenager; but once online, Edward could adopt any online identity. His real life persona made no difference out there. Unlike today, our real life and internet personalities weren’t so intertwined back then. 

Lesson 2. ‘Hacking’ through high school.

Snowden’s experiences at hacking didn’t just begin with him breaking into other people’s computers. In fact, hacking refers to exploiting the loopholes in any system of rules, to your advantage. 

Hacking was Edward’s way of defying authority and rules. His first ‘hack’ took place on his sixth birthday. He didn’t want to go to bed on time, so he secretly set all the clocks in his house a few hours back, and successfully managed to fool his parents.

In high school, a teacher once mentioned that homework accounted for only 15 percent of the final grades. Edward worked it out that even if he never completed his homework, he could secure a grade B by simply performing well in his tests. So he did just that, and invested the time

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About the author

Edward Snowden Image

Edward Snowden served as an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency and worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency. He has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Right Livelihood Award, the German Whistleblower Prize,...

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Permanent Record Book Cover
Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. Childhood and the Internet.
  • Lesson 2. ‘Hacking’ through high school.
  • Lesson 3. Recruitment by NSA.
  • Lesson 4. Snowden’s first brush against authority inside the CIA.
  • Lesson 5. Snowden first learns about the American mass surveillance systems.
  • Lesson 6. Snowden makes up his mind about exposing what he felt was wrong.
  • Lesson 7. The challenge of smuggling out classified information.
  • Lesson 8. Repercussions.
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FAQs

In the summary of Permanent Record book, there are 8 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. Childhood and the Internet.
  2. Lesson 2. ‘Hacking’ through high school.
  3. Lesson 3. Recruitment by NSA.
  4. Lesson 4. Snowden’s first brush against authority inside the CIA.
  5. Lesson 5. Snowden first learns about the American mass surveillance systems.
  6. Lesson 6. Snowden makes up his mind about exposing what he felt was wrong.
  7. Lesson 7. The challenge of smuggling out classified information.
  8. Lesson 8. Repercussions.

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden was published in 2019.

Once you've completed Permanent Record book, We suggest reading out Kamala Harris as a great follow-up read.

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In the printed version of Permanent Record book have over 300 pages and usually takes 8-10 days to finish. However, with the Wizdom app, including its summary and audiobook, it can be completed in just 15 minutes.

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