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The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man [Kindle Edition]

Luke Harding
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 12.99
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Product Description


Without one man's courage and a life-altering decision, millions would never know about this most secret abuse of power by the intelligence agencies. This is the story of our age, brilliantly told. (Henry Porter)

The saga of Edward J. Snowden, the man whose leaked documents revealed the Orwellian dimensions of the National Security Agency, reads like a le Carré novel crossed with something by Kafka - at least it does in Luke Harding's new book, The Snowden Files ... But the book still gives readers, who have not been following the Snowden story closely, a succinct overview of the momentous events of the past year. And if it leans toward dramatizing everything in thrillerlike terms, the book also manages to leave readers with an acute understanding of the serious issues involved: the N.S.A.'s surveillance activities and voluminous collection of data, and the consequences that this sifting of bigger and bigger haystacks for tiny needles has had on the public and its right to privacy. (Michiko Kakutani New York Times)

Luke Harding's breathless page-turner ... reads more like a spy thriller than a piece of dry political analysis ... this is a riveting read and it unravels the mystery better than anything that's been published so far. (David Runciman The Guardian)

The Snowden Files - as the iPhone episode suggests - is a super-readable, thrillerish account of the events surrounding the reporting of the documents, with a few interludes sketching out what some of the stories have revealed ... Harding has done an amazing - and speedy - job of assembling material from a wide variety of sources and turning it into an exciting account. (Daniel Soar London Review of Books)

Book Description

Investigative journalism at its best. The Snowden Files tells the story of the individuals behind the biggest leak in history and the forces that tried to stop them.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2135 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Faber Publishing (3 Feb 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HU8Z3Z2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,045 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening story 17 Mar 2014
By Jippu
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Luke Harding has written a rather balanced and well-informed book about the revelations of Edward Snowden. I happened to read Andrew O'Hagan's article on Julian Assange and it is clear that they are pretty different. Politically and as personalities. It seems that Snowden really is not interested in himself or in becoming the savior of the world, but just to show how the US government is betraying its own constitution. Of course the book is also a hilarious description of all the stupidities committed by especially the British government and how it goes after journalists on very flimsy excuses. But the reader gets also a comprehensive description of the main revelations from Snowden's files and their importance for our lives. Perhaps the main teaching is that too much data collection is just self-defeating and useless. Intelligent data collection is the key: only collect data when you have a reason or are given a reason. But of course this is easier said than done. Still, the NSA operation has all the sign of data collection gone astray (when I did my first data-analyses by computer, I made just one programming mistake which produced about 2000 pages of useless data, so I know!). The effect of Snowden's revelations has been huge. We know now how the US government (and some smaller ones) operates. But I see very little change in people's behavior. This is probably due to the fact that such huge data collection is really deemed as self-defeating. Let us hope it is!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The secret surveillance programmes of the NSA. 5 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Whatever one thinks about Edward Snowden, whether he is a traitor who deserves a very long term of imprisonment, or whether he is a hero who has sacrificed his future to expose an Orwellian world of unauthorized surveillance and law breaking, one cannot deny the the importance of the devastating revelations in this well-written, riveting book.

It starts by describing Snowden's development as a young man. Surprisingly, he has little formal education, not even a high school diploma, the very minimum passport in America for a reasonable job, but has obvious intelligence and an early keen interest in, and ability with, computers. He first surfaced as a prolific contributor to online forums. At this stage he was politically a conservative, with a strong belief in the sanctity of the American constitution, something he had been taught by his father. He was a patriot who wanted to serve his country in the military, but his short stint in the US army was a disaster, when he broke both his legs and was discharged.

Somehow, despite his lack of qualifications, he manage to get a job as an IT specialist in a small outfit that was a covert facility for NSA (National Security Agency) and from there he moved on to work for the State Department in Europe and began to have access to classified information. His internet posts at this time show that he was strongly opposed to leaking any secret information, regarding it as a despicable act, but by the time he had finished a period in Geneva working with CIA officers he began to experience a `crisis of confidence', and became increasingly disillusioned at his government's activities. He resigned from the CIA and became a contractor in a NSA facility at a military base in Japan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written account 27 Mar 2014
By R James
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Books about the internet and hackers are mostly really boring and badly written so its a pleasure to find one with a gripping narrative but also plenty of detail, at least for the non-geek.
If you want to know about how easily the government, police and a raft of other agencies can access all your online data then this is a great account.
Snowden has been criminalised by the US and no doubt he did break the law - but so were the US and UK governments by ripping off all our data.
By exposing what the US govt was doing and making them regulate it, he's done that country - and the UK - a huge favour, and reminded us what makes us different from, and better than, states like Russia and China.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying 25 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like Luke Harding's book on his Russian experience, I couldn't put this one down.
Everyone in Britain, and much farther afield, ought to read this - and keep it handy to read again and hand on to the next generation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Louie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'll keep it short and sweet, this book summarises the Snowdon story very well and it really does read like a thriller. The best thing about this book is the great detail that Luke Harding goes into which makes it hard to put down! The ways in which the UK government reacted to the leaks and the actions they took are very worrying. Highly recommended!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking in the facts presented 20 Mar 2014
No review could do justice to this book, it is quite simply a must read as you will, as I was, be shocked at the facts disclosed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars frightening 13 Mar 2014
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A must for everyone that thinks we live in a free and just UK. Thank heaven for the Guardian Newspaper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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There isn't anything totally new here if you have been following this in the press but well worth reading. It's just a shame that the Daily Mail reading population of the UK probably don't even know this book exists.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth is here!
Wow! This book blows your mind! Well worth reading, well written and factual. It presents the situation in a balanced way whilst not hiding the extent of the survelliance that's... Read more
Published 13 hours ago by Wolf Woman
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-written and essential red
It's interesting how tentative other media outlets in the UK were about broadcasting the Guardian revelations on Snowden's activity last year; this book looks at possible reasons... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Fiona MacDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling account of what Snowden did and why he did it.
Anyone interested in democracy and the internal working of governments, both American and British, should read this book. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Derek Malpass
5.0 out of 5 stars surprise surprise
Being traditionally of , right of centre, political opinion I approached my reading in the belief that I was to be scornful of Snowden. Read more
Published 17 days ago by John Gibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting book
It tells you how Snowdon got to where he did in US intelligence and what he gave up by turning whistleblower for us all. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Mr. Alexander Watt
4.0 out of 5 stars An adventure story.
The way in which Snowden struggled to find a way of getting his story to the wider public is intriguing.
Published 21 days ago by Mr. Harold Cotton
4.0 out of 5 stars informative and scary
Good summary of articles from the Guardian. Scarily informative, clearly written. I really appreciated how the author withheld the feeling of righteousness and allowed our same... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Leo Bergin
1.0 out of 5 stars A complete pile of literary puke
Don't waste your time on this imaginative government sponsored rubbish, seriously.
A lot of hypothetical whining from a guy who wasn't even allowed to be anywhere close to the... Read more
Published 28 days ago by OK
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