A retired naval officer who once ran the Kansas Department of Transportation has sued digital whistleblower Edward Snowden and others, claiming they’ve improperly profited from disclosure of classified materials.
Horace Edwards of Topeka filed the lawsuit in federal court in mid-December. He says Snowden has broken the law, so producers of a film called “Citizenfour” shouldn’t make money from the disclosure of some of the nation’s secret surveillance programs.
“Through this charade in the film, ‘Citizenfour,’ a fugitive senior intelligence official … together with the ‘Hollywood Defendants,’ intentionally violate obligations owed to the American people, misuse purloined information disclosed to foreign enemies, and covet financial gain for their misconduct,” the lawsuit claims.
Edwards wants any proceeds from the film turned over to the government. The suit also seeks legal fees.
The lawsuit claims Edwards has standing to sue because he bought a ticket to the movie. Legal experts say it will be difficult for him to prove a specific injury from the film or Snowden’s disclosures.
Producers of “Citizenfour,” which features extensive interviews with Snowden and has received mostly positive reviews from critics, did not respond to a request for comment.
Snowden, who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency, remains a fugitive from U.S. authorities. He provided thousands of pages of documents revealing parts of the nation’s secret surveillance efforts.
Edwards, 89, considered running for the U.S. Senate in 2004 against then-Sen. Sam Brownback, but he failed to gather the needed petition signatures for the race.
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