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How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward…
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How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft

by Edward Jay Epstein

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Choosing to read this book makes is based on a fundamental question - is Edward Snowden a hero? Most people in the United States have an opinion of Snowden and my guess is that very few people who think he is a hero will be interested in reading this book. Epstein does a very thorough job of describing Snowden's background and then walking through the hours between when Snowden left Honolulu and when he exited the airport in Moscow. Epstein's reporting does an excellent job of asking some basic questions such as why did Snowden take so many documents and how did he as a contractor get access to such high level documents? The book often treads over the same ground and repeatedly makes the same point in different chapters but overall presents a clear and succinct argument that Snowden may not have had the best of intentions. Overall an enjoyable book which made me question my true opinion of Edward Snowden. ( )
  pbirch01 | Oct 20, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451494563, Hardcover)

A groundbreaking exposé that convincingly challenges the popular image of Edward Snowden as hacker turned avenging angel, while revealing how vulnerable our national security systems have become--as exciting as any political thriller, and far more important.

After details of American government surveillance were published in 2013, Edward Snowden, formerly a subcontracted IT analyst for the NSA, became the center of an international controversy: Was he a hero, traitor, whistle-blower, spy? Was his theft legitimized by the nature of the information he exposed? When is it necessary for governmental transparency to give way to subterfuge? Edward Jay Epstein brings a lifetime of journalistic and investigative acumen to bear on these and other questions, delving into both how our secrets were taken and the man who took them. He makes clear that by outsourcing parts of our security apparatus, the government has made classified information far more vulnerable; how Snowden sought employment precisely where he could most easily gain access to the most sensitive classified material; and how, though he claims to have acted to serve his country, Snowden is treated as a prized intelligence asset in Moscow, his new home.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:27:16 -0500)

Challenges the popular image of Edward Snowden as hacker turned avenging angel, while revealing how vulnerable the United States' national security systems have become. "A groundbreaking, compelling investigation that convincingly challenges the popular image of Edward Snowden as hacker-turned-avenging angel, while revealing how vulnerable our national security systems have become. In the wake of the scandal that emerged after details of American government surveillance were made public by WikiLeaks in 2013, Edward Snowden, formerly an employee of an outside contractor at the NSA facility in Hawaii, became the controversial center of an international conversation about the limits of power and privacy. Had the U.S. government overstepped important boundaries in its anti-terrorism efforts? Was Snowden's theft of information legitimized by the nature of the secrets being kept from the American people? We learn in How America Lost Its Secrets that Snowden stole a great deal more than documents relating to domestic surveillance. He also stole secret documents from the NSA, the CIA, the Department of Defense, and the British cipher service revealing the sources and methods they employed in their monitoring of adversaries. He then transported these state secrets to an adversary country, Russia, without authorization. Which raises the question: Who is Edward Snowden--hero, traitor, whistle-blower, spy? Edward Jay Epstein brings a lifetime of journalistic and investigative acumen to bear on this question and more. Retracing Snowden's steps from disgruntled tech worker to international notoriety, he seeks to understand both how we lost our secrets and the man who took them. Along the way, we discover Snowden's sometimes troubling pseudonymous writing on the Internet, as well as aspects of his private and public life previously elided. We see that by outsourcing parts of our own security apparatus to private companies in order to save money, the government has made classified information far more vulnerable to theft and misuse. Snowden, working for one of these private companies, ultimately sought employment precisely where he could most easily gain access to the most sensitive classified information. He claims to have acted to serve his country, but in his new home, Moscow, he is treated as a prized intelligence asset in the new Cold War. With unerring insight, meticulous reporting, and the pacing of a thriller writer, Epstein follows the Snowden trail across the globe, unearthing revelations that shed a whole new light on one of the most controversial and fascinating events of the new millennium."--Dust jacket.… (more)

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