Lindsay Mills: Edward Snowden left his girlfriend in Hawaii and fled to Hong Kong to leak NSA secrets
Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked the NSA’s surveillance secrets, thought about marrying his girlfriend Lindsay Mills and had previously taken her on a romantic break to Hong Kong – where he was last seen fearing arrest.
Edward Snowden, 29, and Lindsay mills, 28, were deeply in love and on her blog, she dotingly called him her “man of mystery” who she had followed around the world for the last four years.
On Monday Lindsay Mills took to the blog – where she has posted dozens of photos of herself – to tell of her heartbreak.
She wrote: “My world has opened and closed all at once. Leaving me lost at sea without a compass.
“As I type this on my tear-streaked keyboard I’m reflecting on all the faces that have graced my path.
‘The ones I laughed with. The ones I’ve held. The one I’ve grown to love the most. And the ones I never got to bid adieu.
“But sometimes life doesn’t afford proper goodbyes.”
Edward Snowden fled to Hong Kong after exposing the NSA’s PRISM program which gives officials easy access to data held by nine of the world’s top internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Skype.
It was a heartbreaking turn of events for Lindsay Mills who had lived with Edward Snowden since at least 2009 when they were in Japan together.
Last year Edward Snowden whisked her 8,000 miles from their home south of Baltimore, Maryland to Hong Kong where family friends thought they got married because it was a “special place” for them.
Now he is back there, hiding out and terrified he will be arrested and extradited back to the US for leaking details about how the NSA puts millions of Americans under surveillance.
Lindsay Mills’ blog gives an insight into the ups and downs the couple went through – and her own feelings against the snooping state.
Their relationship may have been brought to an unconventional end – but it hardly seems conventional from the start.
Written under the name “L’s Journey”, Lindsay Mills calls Edward Snowden “E” and her “man of mystery”, whilst referring to herself as a “vagabond”.
On the face of it they are totally different people – she is an extrovert who enjoys walking around whenever she can, spends her Sunday evenings in circus classes and surrounds herself with bohemian eccentrics.
The title of her blog reads: “Adventures of a world-traveling, pole-dancing super hero.”
Edward Snowden by contrast is a shy computer geek from a suburban family who likes to spend Sundays at football games and needs to be coaxed out of his shell to even do karaoke.
Lindsay Mills writes that when she finally introduced him to her friends in Hawaii they didn’t believe he actually existed because he was so hard to pin down.
Before they moved to Hawaii they spent their days doing things like camping, pumpkin picking or skeet shooting together near their Maryland homes.
He bought her gifts like a Star Trek style visor and took many of the dozens of pictures of her on her blog.
Some of the posts now have a certain irony, such as her joking that she likes pretending to be a spy.
Their lives also seem to be very much up in the air and she writes of having traveled through 17 countries in her life.
In March last year she writes of how her “inevitable lover Change is knocking and I wish I had an answer for him”.
Lindsay Mills wrote: “We received word that we have to move out of our house by May 1.
“E is transferring jobs. And I am looking to take a mini trip back East. Do I move with E, on my own, to Antarctica? How long do I spend back home and when should I go?
“For now I’ll spin my magic ball and see where I land.”
That month Edward Snowden moved to Hawaii and two months later Lindsay Mills joined him.
She freely admits that it was to save their relationship as they appear to having been going through a rocky patch that continues after her arrival.
She writes how she seriously considers taking a plane home most days and that she can’t settle down – until July comes.
According to the rest of the blog, it was all idyllic until earlier this month, when the darkness returned to their lives.
Writing on June 3, Lindsay Mills said: “While I have been patiently asking the universe for a livelier schedule, I’m not sure I meant for it to dump half a year’s worth of experience in my lap in two weeks time.
“We’re talking biblical stuff – floods, deceit, loss. Somehow I’ve only managed a few tears amongst all of the madness of May.”
Another revealing aspect of her blog is that Lindsay Mills seems to share Edward Snowden’s views on the surveillance society.
Writing on July 4 last year Lindsay Mills said that the America she loves is “ever-changing” and that she is in “fear it’s straying from the freedom it has always represented”.
She wrote: “America is still one of the greatest, but she’s falling in my eyes. I hope her people see where she’s going and ask themselves <<is this really how I want to live?>>.
Another post will be of interest to investigators looking to find out what she knew – a poster in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is currently being considered by Congress.
If passed SOPA will make copyright rules more strictly enforced to a level which Mills claims is draconian.
On her blog she writes in terms that sound as if they could have been written by Snowden himself.
She wrote: “Normally I’d be hitting you with a riveting entry about my super hero life, but today I wanted to join others in protest of SOPA.
“A bill that poses to allow the government to control the very thing you’re reading my blog on – the internet. The way users (people like you and me) share information and ideas freely across the internet would most certainly change.”
She then urged readers to sign a petition and email their Congressional representatives.
Edward Snowden left Lindsay Mills behind in Hawaii weeks ago when he leaked classified information about PRISM, a secret government phone surveillance program that harvests data on millions of Americans from telecommunications and online companies.
He never told her where he was going or what he was doing – only that he needed to leave for a few weeks.
Edward Snowden is currently on the run, location unknown, after he fled the Hong Kong hotel where he is holed up
The TV news program Inside Edition claims to have tracked Lindsay Mills down in Hawaii, where she is the member of an acrobatic troupe.
It appears that she was performing with the Waikiki Acrobatic Troupe. She also took classes last year from another troupe, Samadhi Hawaii, though never performed with the company.
Lindsay Mills lives in the home that Edward Snowden, a private contractor making $200,000 working with the National Security Agency (NSA), rented in Hawaii.
She graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is a former ballet dancer.
When Edward Snowden revealed his identity in the Guardian newspaper on Sunday, he also revealed that his girlfriend knew nothing of his plans to make the biggest leak of classified government information since WikiLeaks.
Edward Snowden told the newspaper that Lindsay Mills was not surprised that he was packing his backs and not telling her where he was going.
“That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world,” he explained to the Guardian.