Edward Snowden Net Worth: How Much Does He Make From His Exile?

Edward Snowden, renowned for his whistleblowing actions in 2013, brought to light extensive surveillance programs operated by the US government and its allies.

By disclosing a trove of classified documents to journalists, he uncovered how the National Security Agency (NSA) and affiliated agencies amassed and scrutinized the communications of millions worldwide.

His revelations ignited a global discourse on privacy, security, and human rights, garnering both praise and censure from various quarters.

Image of Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden | photo courtesy | Getty Image


This piece we try to Delve into Edward Snowden income sources, including book sales, speaking engagements, donations, endorsements, and investments.

what is Edward Snowden’s net worth, and how does he sustain himself in his Russian exile?

As of 2023, Snowden’s estimated net worth stands at approximately $2 million, derived from an assortment of revenue streams including:

  1. book sales
  2. speaking engagements
  3. donations
  4. endorsements
  5. investments.

Here is a detailed breakdown of his primary income sources:

Book Sales

In 2019, Snowden released his memoir, “Permanent Record,” which achieved bestseller status in numerous countries.

By September 2020, he had accrued earnings of $4.2 million from book sales, royalties, and related rights.

However, this amount has been subject to forfeiture due to a lawsuit brought forth by the US government, alleging breach of secrecy agreements with the CIA and NSA.

The case remains pending, and Snowden may contest the verdict.

Image of permanent Record
permanent Record


Speaking Engagements

Edward Snowden has delivered numerous paid presentations via video link to diverse audiences worldwide, encompassing universities, conferences, corporations, and festivals.

His standard fee per speech averages $18,000, according to his booking agent.

By August 2020, Edward Snowden had amassed approximately $1.03 million from these engagements.

Comparable to Edward Snowden book earnings, this sum has been slated for forfeiture to the US government within the same legal battle.

Edward Snowden has also directed a portion of his speaking fees towards charitable causes and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an organization where he holds the position of board president.


Supporters of Snowden, moved by his valor and sacrifice, have contributed donations.

Through a dedicated website, individuals can contribute to his legal defense fund using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, Edward Snowden maintains a Patreon account, offering exclusive content and updates to patrons who pledge a monthly amount.

While the precise sum of donations remains undisclosed, it is presumed to be substantial.


Edward Snowden has lent his endorsement to select products and services aligning with his principles and vision.

Notably, he has endorsed Signal, a secure messaging application employing end-to-end encryption and abstaining from user data collection.

Likewise, he has supported Haven, an application that transforms any Android device into a surveillance tool capable of detecting intrusions and notifying the owner.

While compensation for these endorsements may have been received, such details remain private.


Edward Snowden has allocated a portion of his resources to investments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which he views as more secure and democratic alternatives to conventional currencies.

Advocating for Bitcoin since 2013, when he utilized it to cover his journey from Hong Kong to Moscow, Snowden has also expressed admiration for Ethereum, a cryptocurrency facilitating smart contracts and decentralized applications.

Profits may have accrued from the appreciating value of these digital assets over time.

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Edward Snowden stands as a polarizing figure, having jeopardized his safety and liberty to disclose the realities of the global surveillance apparatus.

For his actions, he endures exile in Russia and confronts legal charges in the US.

Yet, he has also amassed considerable earnings from book sales, speaking engagements, donations, endorsements, and investments.

Edward Snowden net worth, estimated at $2 million as of 2023, remains subject to change pending the resolution of his legal skirmishes with the US government.

Facts about  Edward Joseph Snowden

Fact Information
Full Name Edward Joseph Snowden
Date of Birth June 21, 1983
Place of Birth Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA
Nationality American
Occupation Whistleblower, Former CIA Employee, Former NSA Contractor
Famous For Exposing NSA Surveillance Programs (2013)
Exile Location Moscow, Russia
Estimated Net Worth (2023) Approximately $2 million
Notable Work Memoir “Permanent Record” (2019)
Book Earnings (as of September 2020) $4.2 million
Speaking Fee (Average) $18,000 per speech
Total Earnings from Speeches (as of August 2020) Approximately $1.03 million
Legal Battle Status Pending (Forfeiture of earnings due to lawsuit)
Charitable Affiliations Freedom of the Press Foundation (Board President)
Endorsements Signal (Secure Messaging App), Haven (Security App)
Investment Preferences Bitcoin, Other Cryptocurrencies
Advocacy Bitcoin and Ethereum supporter