WASHINGTON: Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden may have gone to ground after leaking details of a vast program to spy on Internet users, but his girlfriend’s public web presence has caused a stir.
The now notorious former CIA technician’s partner is reportedly 28-year-old Lindsay Mills, but she wrote a personal blog under the pseudonym “L” and described herself as “a world-traveling, pole-dancing super hero.”
Ironically, for the girlfriend of a security expert so careful about online privacy that he reportedly consults his laptop under a hood so hidden cameras can’t see his passwords, L’s blog was an open book.
Her online bio even appeared under a link entitled “Track Me,” although it contained few details and the whole blog was taken offline Tuesday.
Previously, every three or four days she had posted a picture of herself in her underwear along with whimsical comments on her peripatetic lifestyle and musings on her moods and her work as a ballerina, acrobat and dancer.
The site also features videos of some of her dance performances.
Snowden, who left L at their shared Hawaiian home last month to head to Hong Kong after deciding to betray National Security Agency secrets, appears in the blog — and in some of the pictures — as “E,” her “man of mystery.”
As recently as April 13, she describes moving into his new residence in Hawaii, where defense contractor Booz Allen had hired him to work at a local NSA station as an outside contractor.
But her latest post is shot through with sadness, and seems to confirm that Snowden’s choice of a life on the run from US agents had marked an end to their relationship after four years and multiple short-term addresses.
“For those of you that know me without my super hero cape, you can probably understand why I’ll be refraining from blog posts for a while,” she wrote on June 10, a day after Snowden revealed his identity in a newspaper interview.
“My world has opened and closed all at once. Leaving me lost at sea without a compass. Surely there will be villainous pirates, distracting mermaids, and tides of change in this new open water chapter of my journey.
“But at the moment all I can feel is alone. And for the first time in my life I feel strong enough to be on my own,” she wrote, adding that she was typing “on my tear-streaked keyboard.”
There is no suggestion in any of the posts, many of which deal with her life training and performing with a Hawaiian dance and acrobatic troupe, that she was aware of what Snowden was planning.
The former CIA technician himself told the British-based Guardian newspaper in an interview posted online at the weekend, that his partner and family were not aware in advance of his actions.
He said he had packed his bags and told her he was going away for a few weeks, without saying where he was going or why.
US lawmakers and spy chiefs have called for Snowden to be arrested and extradited back to America to face charges for revealing the PRISM program, under which the NSA monitors Internet users’ private data.