Edward Snowden, the man who risked everything to expose the US government’s system of mass surveillance, joins ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero (via video call) to discuss his new memoir, Permanent Record, which reveals for the first time the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to bring it down.

In 2013, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it.

Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online―a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.

Anthony D. Romero has been the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's premier defender of civil liberties, since 2001. An attorney with a history of public-interest activism, Romero has presided over the most successful growth in the ACLU's history, dramatically increasing its membership, national and affiliate staff, and budget. Romero is the ACLU's sixth executive director and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs.

At Liberty is a weekly podcast from the ACLU that explores the biggest civil rights and civil liberties issues of the day. At Liberty at BPL is a periodic live recording of the podcast from Brooklyn Public Library’s BPL Presents team and presented to a live audience at the library's flagship Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza.

Books will be available for sale by Greenlight Bookstore.

close navigation