Edward Snowden and his acrobatic dancer girlfriend Lindsay Mills are the real-life protagonists of our paranoid era's best spy thriller/graphic novel. With her art degree and wordy blog and burlesque stripper-pole YouTube videos and artsy lingerie shots, Mills couldn't be more of a nerd dream girl unless she put on a Guy Fawkes mask—and she's done that, too.
One of the many photographs on her (now inaccessible) blog shows the 28-year-old dancer in high heels and blue short-shorts, looking over her shoulder wearing the face that's so beloved by the hacktavist collective Anonymous: Guy Fawkes.
They lived a dream life, too. Mills moved to Hawaii to be with Snowden, where he earned a reported $200,000 a year as an intelligence consultant. But between the beaches and burlesque and high-paid technology job, both Snowden and Mills were troubled by the surveillance state that has ruled over their entire adult lives.
Guy Fawkes masks became a politically charged disguise after the Wachowskis' tense film adaptation of the Alan Moore/David Lloyd graphic novel V For Vendetta. The 2006 movie arrived at the height of the NSA wiretapping scandal during the Bush Administration, and young voters who grew up on the Internet started wearing the mask to show their disdain for Big Brother and support for unlikely nerd hero and Texas congressman Ron Paul in the 2008 presidential election.
We don't know exactly why Mills posted this photo, but along with pictures of Snowden's laptop decorated with an Electronic Freedom Foundation bumper sticker, we can deduce that this pair thought about the implications of global data mining long before Snowden went to The Guardian with his damning secrets.