Edward Snowden is one of the most extraordinary whistleblowers in history. A precocious computer specialist who rapidly rose through the ranks of the U.S. intelligence community, Snowden was only twenty-nine years old when he exposed the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program of citizens, which collects and stores people’s phone calls, emails, and contacts. Forced to flee the country to escape federal prosecutors, he remains a controversial figure in exile, having been called, by turns, a traitor, a hero, a dissident, a patriot.
Now, in these pages, award-winning Guardian correspondent Luke Harding takes us inside Snowden’s story, which has all the action and intrigue of a spy novel—yet is too astonishing not to be true. The Snowden Files is an essential investigation of the interplay between one man and the government, between national security and the right to privacy, and how the far-reaching capabilities of digital surveillance affect us all.