(Book Review) Permanent Record
The reason you're reading this book is that I did a dangerous thing for a man in my position: I decided to tell the truth.
I bought this book on a whim a few weeks back, when the world was a nice place and I didn't have to spend 99% of my time inside my apartment, don't get me wrong, I still spent 99% of my time inside my apartment then, but I didn't have to. The upside is that I have had more time to catch up on my reading since this quarantine started.
Permanent Record by Edward Snowden is a pretty good memoir, one that doesn't have any new information regarding the surveillance system that was put in place, and which Edward Snowden helped to reveal. Instead, you get to know him as a person, hearing recollections from his childhood, the ranking up at his jobs in the US government, what these institutions were working on while he was there, and how he ended up in Russia during the aftermath of his acts.
The stories that Snowden shares in this book really help put into perspective how Information Security and surveillance tactics have evolved the past few years. More importantly, you get a deeper insight into his moral code, the reason why he decided to raise his voice and denounce what was happening even if it meant going into exile and, most likely, living the rest of his days as a traitor.
Overall Permanent Record is an easy read, specially for the subjects at hand, and provides a fascinating account of the inner workings of the CIA. It also serves as a good reminder of the importance of safeguarding our privacy. This last point is actually one of the main reasons I'm excited about a monetization scheme like Coil's where you get to support the sites that you use without them having to rely on exploiting your data.
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