Book Review – No Place to Hide

In 2013, Glen Greenwald was contacted by Edward Snowden about publishing some classified documents relating to NSA surveillance. These turned out to be the massive leak of classified documents relating to the mass surveillance activities on the NSA and the wider international intelligence community.

The book starts by describing the methods around how Greenwald was contacted and his interaction with Laura Poitras (who produced the filmed content for the disclosures). It then goes on to describe the events around arranging for the Guardian Newspaper to underwrite the articles and the eventual publication of the first articles.

The next part of the book goes into a review of the actual documents disclosed by Snowden and the interpretation of them in the context of the original disclosures. At this point I must warn anyone who works for the US government (and any other national government) as actual documents are published and this may contravene your security clearance.

The first two parts of the book are by far (from my perspective) the most interesting parts of the book as the remainder of the book goes into how Greenwald was persecuted for breaking the story, how the NSA tried to prosecute him and how US law protected journalists from such prosecution – he was initially considered by the NSA a blogger and therefore not covered by these laws.

This book is a good counterpart to Edward Snowdon’s Autobiography Permanent Record and all the other material. It gives the counter view to how the disclosures were made, whereas Snowdon’s book describes his motivations as to why he made the disclosures. These books should be required reading for anyone in the Cyber Security and Privacy business.

Review Copyright © JM Business Security, November 2020

Original book cover art copyright the original authors and publishers.

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