A spy... a whistleblower ... a traitor? Edward Snowden is known around the globe as the American Intelligence expert who disclosed, in 2013, the widespread surveillance antics of the US government that contravened human rights and privacy laws. While living in Russian exile, Snowden recounts his early life and the events leading up to his sensational whistleblowing, as well as setting out the development of computer technology and the internet.
This is an exciting and important story that combines a detailed but accessible record of momentous events in the digital world with the memoir of a courageous world citizen. [Larger font]
People found the book interesting. The writing style and amount of details put some off. There was a lot of discussion about the impact of surveillance. The issue of Snowden now living in Russia and having accepted citizenship was of concern to some.
Most found this really interesting. Some struggled with all the technical details but enjoyed the book.
The whole group found the book interesting and disturbing. Other words used were 'educational' and 'illuminating'.
Everyone felt the book was hugely informative with ideal issues for discussion. A great choice for a Book Club title.
Everyone should read this book to understand the dangers of mass surveillance - group very impressed.
Several members felt this was one of the best books they had read!! It created a lot of discussion - and we felt he was very brave to have informed the public on what the government was doing - we were also shocked by the amount of surveillance that was happening.
Excellent book, very well-written - content thought provoking and scary, raises important moral issues. A must read.
Most found the book more engaging than they expected. A vivid picture of a young boy growing into a tech wizard, and a patriot, and then developing the clarity and the courage to enable him to sacrifice all he had for what he believed in. A fascinating story.
Most found the book more engaging than they expected.
We have not had a meeting to discuss this book, but from phone conversations it seems that most really enjoyed it.
Some people found it hard to read; did not like the personality of Edward Snowden - finding him narcissistic and self-important. Others revelled in the computer details and the insight into American intelligence agencies. Big discussion about "Did he do the right thing" exposing the US intelligence strategies.
In the current COVID world, with so much misinformation available, this book has proved to be a great wake-up call as to how exactly we are all manipulated by those with the skills to do so. Even for the technologically-challenged (just skip the bits with all the abbreviations and acronyms), it was deeply appreciated by our group. That Mr Snowden chose to use a conduit other than Wikileaks will always be in his favour, leaving us all hoping that he can find a better future for himself and his wonderfully patriotic, supportive family. Definitely recommended!
Many thanks. 'A Permanent Record' proved a thought-provoking read - important issues, engaging style. A surprise really, as most of us not interested to begin with. Bravo to the Book Club for pushing us into unfamiliar fields.
Snowden made a technical topic more accessible with his explanations of computer systems and the development of the internet. We still came away wondering how much electronic surveillance is ethical and permissible in NZ. With management of Covid we are more willing for closer surveillance. The internet is still the wild west.
Cause for great discussion.
Kept everyone engrossed to the end. Surprisingly well-written. Alarming and disturbing. It provoked a lot of good discussion about social media and data surveillance.
The book was admired by the whole group both for its content, so topical for all of us, the bravery of the author, and for the way it was written. That is the excellent style and the way the personal, the professional and the technical were blended. It was easy to read. Some members found there was too much technical detail, but not so much to distract them. Others felt the characters were not shown to have human emotions - they were a bit dry.