June 12, 2013, 5:15 PM — The sadly ironic part of Edward Snowden’s blockbuster leaks about the NSA is that now he’s got no personal privacy left whatsoever. And soon, neither will anyone else he knows.
Because now the news media wants to know all about him. And with nothing substantive to report, they’ll pick at the edges of his personal network – not unlike how the NSA uses phone records to establish networks of suspected terrorists – to report anything they can dredge up.
The first victim in the crosshairs: Snowden’s alleged girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. According to reports by the Washington Post and others, Ms. Mills was living with Snowden until he fled to Hong Kong two weeks ago. Ms. Mills, we quickly learned, is a professional acrobat and pole dancer (not to be confused with a stripper).
Now she’s no longer Lindsay Mills, private citizen; she’s Edward Snowden’s Pole Dancing Ex-Girlfriend. And while Snowden managed to remain virtually invisible online – probably because he knew exactly what could happen to that information, given what he did for a living – the lovely Ms. Mills did not. Quite the opposite, in fact.
She is now an object lesson in how your digital footprint can come back to haunt you, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.
As an experiment, I decided to see how much I could find out about Lindsay Mills in the space of roughly an hour. I’m not going to link to any of it – if you want to see it, you’ll have to look for it yourself. She made the common mistake of using the same pseudonym across different Internet services, making her easy to find. She’s also a prolific poster of photos.
Her Twitter account is still public, though the last tweet, posted two days ago, kind of says it all.
She deleted her personal blog on Monday after reporters found it. But it’s still available via the Wayback Machine at archive.org. And this being the Internet, people can’t stop themselves from reposting her blog entries and pictures and commenting on her florid prose and her lurid poses.
Her YouTube channel is still live. There you can assess her quite formidable pole dancing talents. (Not to worry, she keeps all of her clothes on.)
She doesn’t have her own Tumblr account, but a handful of others have pinned and tagged her photos there. She’s got a Pinterest account with nearly 1400 pins, most of them pictures of dancers and models.