In 2013, Edward Snowden, a former CIA agent and NSA contractor, shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the U.S. government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every phone call, text message, and email ever sent. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. In Permanent Record, he tells his story for the very first time, bringing the reader along as he helps to create this system of mass surveillance, and then experiences the crisis of conscience that led him to try to bring it down.