NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has released a free, uncensored version of his autobiography for Chinese readers – after Beijing's censors scribbled out all the parts mentioning the Great Firewall in the official version.
Snowden's bestseller Permanent Record is now available as a free download in Chinese after Communist Party censors cut out all the parts of the former IT admin's memoir referring to China's Great Firewall censorship system. The Great Firewall is one of the main means, in the digital era, by which the party maintains its iron grip on the world's most populous nation's internet viewing.
Thumbing his nose at the communists, Snowden has today released a 400-page PDF of the entire book – complete with the deleted sections restored and underlined so ordinary Chinese can see precisely what their ruling class doesn't want them to read about.
Ordinary Chinese readers and translators united to help me remove all censorship from the mainland edition of my first book, entitled《永久记录》. Now we're making it available it to the world for free. Please download and share it everywhere. Link: https://t.co/7f6djtUYW7 https://t.co/R16nHelBJ6— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 10, 2020
In case Snowden's embedded tweet above disappears at some point in the future, the PDF is hosted at a.temporaryrecord.com. Readers not fluent in Simplified Chinese will be disappointed to learn that they'll have to pay for the book – even though doing so will end up enriching the US government and the NSA rather than Snowden himself. Although he's banked his advance, royalties will go to Uncle Sam.
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Published last summer, Snowden's tell-all tome is billed as the story of how he became dissatisfied with the American spy agency lifestyle while working for the NSA in Hawaii as a contractor.
Sickened by the sheer volume of murky and indiscriminate eavesdropping he was helping sustain, Snowden told journalists what was really going on, leaked a bunch of documents proving what appeared to be wildly outlandish claims, and then fled America, eventually ending up in Russia.
In recent years, Western countries have begun taking steps towards deploying Chinese-style mass surveillance, perhaps having been inspired, rather than discouraged, by Snowden's revelations. ®