I GENERALLY CARE relatively little for the personal lives of people of note, but something that always nagged me just slightly about Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations that the NSA was spying on pretty much everyone was — how angry was his girlfriend?
After all, we all knew Snowden had a girlfriend, since it didn’t take long for the media to uncover that her name was Lindsay Mills, that (much to their infinite delight) she had photos of herself in lingerie, and that her significant other had suddenly turned up in Hong Kong halfway through a “business trip” and started to fill the world in on US mass surveillance without running it by her first.
It must have been quite the shock.
I therefore found it uncharacteristically satisfying that Permanent Record included a chapter composed of extracts from Lindsay Mills’s diary. It was genuinely interesting to get an insight into how someone might cope with this very unusual situation being thrust upon them in a more candid tone than we generally get from the guarded Snowden throughout the rest of the book. These excerpts were all the more necessary, as this really is a book about the personal — no further details of public significance are released in this title, which is a work primarily of analysis and reflection.