back to article To Russia With Love: Snowden's pole-dancer girlfriend is living with him in Moscow

If you've been worrying that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been living a wretched existence in some horrible Moscow flat, shunned and alone, fear not. A new documentary on him claims that, on the contrary, he's happy and healthy – as is his live-in girlfriend. According to the film Citizenfour by documentarian Laura Poitras, …

  1. William Donelson

    The Register dives into the gutter and comes up with this. Shame on you.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: William Donelson

      We were pretty pleased for him in the SF office; good on them. Glad they made it work.

      PS: If you're upset about these latest revelations of his private life, I urge you to reread the article all the way to the bottom and apply critical thought. In fact, read the Intercept's article, all of it. These lines from Greenwald are crucial:

      "Vital to the U.S. government and its assorted loyalists in the commentariat is to depict whistleblowers as destined to live miserable lives ... But the fact that he is now living in domestic bliss as well, with his long-term girlfriend whom he loves, should forever put to rest the absurd campaign to depict his life as grim and dank."

      C.

      1. frank ly
        Coat

        re.Re: William Donelson

        That should have been '@William Donelson re.' or just 're.'

        [Coat: the one with the copy of 'Pedants Style Guide' in the pocket.]

      2. William Donelson

        Re: William Donelson

        It was the "tapping dat" and sleazy insults to the "pole dancing girlfriend" trying to be cute and clever Reg and coming up sexist.

        Shame on you.

        I am happy they love each other enough to sacrifice so much of their lives for the betterment of all of us.

        1. FormerKowloonTonger
          Devil

          Re: William Donelson

          Maybe they'd welcome you as a co-believer in a threesome?

      3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re: William Donelson

        Ah. I see in you window.

        You mean his pole dancing assignee is none other than the bolt on the stable door reassigned to do dubious work as an undercover camera.

        Are we right?

        Or was the stipple at the end of the article you pointed us at completely wrong.

        Beware of my carefully crafted code. I wrote in a manner devised to make the NSA and our dear GCHQ believe I don't know what I am talking about. (Just so you don't feel so alone.)

        1. FormerKowloonTonger
          Devil

          Re: William Donelson

          Re:

          "You mean his pole dancing....", did the writer here imply a synonym for "Trouser trout"? As I said, endless possibilities here for us prurients.

      4. boltar Silver badge

        Re: William Donelson

        "PS: If you're upset about these latest revelations of his private life,"

        Replace "upset" with "couldn't give a rats arse" and you'd be spot on.

        No one cares about this self important narcissistic prick other than the US security services and standard issue anti-establishment teenage blowhards. Everyone else just gets on with their lives.

        1. FormerKowloonTonger
          Devil

          Re: William Donelson

          Pls explain "blowhards".

          [Promising now to stop.stop.stop.stop. ]

    2. Daniele Procida

      Nice. An article illustrated with a picture of a woman's crotch, and a strap-line reducing a the subject of the article to a mere object of a man's sexual activity.

      I wonder why so many women find this industry an unpleasant, uncomfortable one to be in?

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        @Daniele

        Not that I disagree with you about the strapline and the image being un-necessary, but characterising it as a male-orientated problem is wrong.

        The simple fact is women objectify men too. Not every woman does it (just as not every man does it), but it's all too often characterised as 'men objectify women, the pigs' when it swings both ways.

        I wrote a rather lengthy blog post on it a while back, and found far, far more examples than I ever expected of female orientated media objectifying blokes.

        1. MrXavia

          Re: @Ben Tasker

          "The simple fact is women objectify men too. Not every woman does it (just as not every man does it), but it's all too often characterised as 'men objectify women, the pigs' when it swings both ways."

          Speaking as a male, I don't mind being objectified by women...

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: @Ben Tasker

            @MrXavia

            I'm sure there are plenty of women who don't mind being objectified either - I'm not saying it's wrong (it's part of a base urge really IMHO) - what is wrong is painting it that men objectify women and women never objectify men.

      2. William Donelson

        Exactly.

        "pole dancer girlfriend" headline is a cheap insult. Shame on you Reg. AGAIN.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: William Donelson

          "'pole dancer girlfriend' headline is a cheap insult. Shame on you Reg. AGAIN."

          I knew it, I knew someone would post something like that. As I was walking home from work, and thinking over the headline, I knew someone – someone filled with righteous rage and blinded by the desire to root out misogyny – would stumble down the logic well.

          Here's the question – riddle me this:

          What's insulting about being a pole dancer? Insulting to you? Sounds like you're being awfully judgmental. Turn the mirror on yourself.

          There is no "shame" here.

          C.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: William Donelson

            There's nothing wrong with pole dancing. However the way the article is written with the image of the pole dancer, and the title it's clear you are objectifying/sensationalising her as the article has nothing to do with pole dancing.

            Lets face it if we changed Pole Dancer for 'Salsa Dancer' you wouldn't have bothered to put it in the article.

            You're getting the flak you deserve.

          2. Anomalous Cowshed

            Re: William Donelson

            I totally agree.

            I recently dated a gorgeous pole dancer / stripppp.... Oh no, I didn't realise the wife was in the room, I hope she didn't see me writing this comme...OMG, she did!!! got to gooooo...

            (Smash, bash, crash, squeeze balls...Did I write "recently"? It was a typo! It was that damn autocorrect! I meant to write "a long time ago"!!!)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          ""pole dancer girlfriend" headline is a cheap insult."

          I don't see the insult?? Unless you are saying it is wrong she was pole dancing?

      3. razorfishsl

        You know,,,,

        There is absolutely NO indication it is a woman's crotch, it is only your limited mind that considers it as such, it could have very well been some lady boy from Thailand flashing his man in a boat.

        1. Cameron Colley

          Why should El Reg be ashamed?

          The description she gave herself included her profession as pole dancer and a quick google for her name suggests that Ms Mills is quite happy to "objectify" herself without any help from El Reg.

          If this were an article about the latest hire of an IT company being "a screaming hotty" or some such I could understand but this is a woman who sells herself on her looks being described accordingly.

          Do you really think she minds the "tapping that" joke?

      4. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Daniele

        "I wonder why so many women find this industry an unpleasant, uncomfortable one to be in?"

        This upsets me because I don't wake up in the morning to objectify people nor make others feel unwelcome in an industry in the stuff I publish. That was never the intention.

        C.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I wonder why so many women find this industry an unpleasant, uncomfortable one to be in?

        Because ... So many women can't code and can't be bothered to learn it?

      6. JoeKrozac

        Look on the bright side Daniele, at least the naughty bits were not showing, nor were they even producing a tell tale nudge or bulge in the crotch of that lovely aqua colored article of clothing.

        Would you prefer burlap perhaps? Cheers!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tag line was changed by El Reg...

      The tag line originally read "While the NSA is tapping your phone, he's tapping dat..."

      http://s28.postimg.org/qn4v9j6hp/Screenshot_2014_10_11_11_46_41.png

      1. William Donelson

        Re: Tag line was changed by El Reg...

        Yes, and Reg has the nerve to chastise me.

        Cheap journalism.

    4. FormerKowloonTonger
      Devil

      This comes under The Register's "Inquirer-Rolling Stone" subheading. But I love their punning headlines and double entendres. "Trouser snake" should get a Pulitzer. Endless possibilities there. [titillating?....OK, OK, don't throw any more shoes...am straightening up.]

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pole dancer's husbands

      ..are rather more proud now. They always save the world. Remember Will Smith from 'The Independence Day'.

  2. Daniel B.

    Now it makes sense!

    And in other news, a new report by Poitras and Peter Maass reveals that the NSA uses undercover operatives to subvert foreign companies and telecommunications networks, having done so in China, Germany, and South Korea.

    And Finland. So that's what Elop was really doing! Subverting a foreign company!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now it makes sense!

      That was successfully subverted by a whole generation of middle managers prior to him. While the NSA/CIA may have a nearly unlimited budget, paying all of them to manifest the fundamental incompetence involved in the MeeGo, TrollTech, Symbian Foundation, etc debacle would have failed to pass even their internal budget oversight.l

  3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Happy for them both. Nice to see good things still happen in this world.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      True, but I think in this case, she's up the same proverbial creek without the proverbial oar that he is. I'm supposing that if the US gets it way, she'll be charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive. Or maybe "giving comfort to the enemy"?

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        The girl friend probably is not implicated, and likely can travel freely on a US passport, subject to funds availability, with no more hassle than, say, Glen Greenwald.

      2. Felix Krull
        Big Brother

        I'm supposing that if the US gets it way, she'll be charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive. Or maybe "giving comfort to the enemy"?

        Provided she's not an NSA plant, of course.

        1. fajensen Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Provided she's not an NSA plant, of course.

          I would tell her Everything ;-)

      3. Johan Bastiaansen

        If

        "if the US gets it way"

        IF is the key word here

        1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          Re: If

          I wonder if there is a chance of an IT magazine ever uncovering the reason that US firms that are overly expensive and not all that good should oust from top places nearly every foreign competitor.

          I wonder if anyone at El Reg can get their heads out of other people's sex lives long enough to concentrate on stuff like that?

          If only Nokia and Blackberry could find some angle to introduce naked women and tight little crotches on their wares.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The US is Over: We recently had the sad spectacle Joe Biden apologising to Turkey and Qatar after stating the well-known fact that many of the US "Allies" are busy supporting terrorist outfits in Syria and Iraq.

        One does not apologise to these people (even if one is wrong) and never in public; Imagine Kennedy or Nixon apologising (and they had real crimes to their names, not just words)? Such public displays of weakness just gives the Arab leaders ideas, like, maybe they soon need to secure better allies like Russia or China.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Pottie

      "Happy for them both. Nice to see good things still happen in this world." We'll have to see just how long she's going to be happy with his reduced income and circumstances - Hawaii and $150k contractor to, what? How much do helpdesk johnnies get paid in Moscow? Is Pootie giving him a KGB pension? I doubt it's much, she could probably make a few more rubles than him shaking her tail. Does she speak any Russian? Has she even visited Moscow before, let alone know anyone there? You only have to look at what happened to Kim Philby to see where that's going, especially considering how Philby was so disappointed to find 'the Workers paradise' was anything but that.

      Meanwhile, I'm sure shepherds like Poitras and Greenwald want to portray the 'whistleblower'/traitor lifestyle in a positive light. They need to in order to make a parasitic living off it.

  4. tom dial Silver badge

    I have to say that having read the Maass and Poitras article, and the documents that accompany it, I am pretty underwhelmed by the depth and scope of the new revelations. Most of it seems to have been known generally by 2012, and all or nearly all the rest came out by the end of 2013.

  5. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "worked as an occasional exotic dancer"

    There are exotic dancers that can be hired for occasions? I'd love to see the adverts:

    "For your next furneral, why not hire one of our exotic dancers!"

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: "worked as an occasional exotic dancer"

      You've already got one stiff there, why not make them all stiff?

      1. oolor

        Re: funeral peelers

        That'll liven up the party!

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: funeral peelers

          I suppose that's one way to put the fun back in funeral.

    2. Cheshire Cat
      Go

      Re: "worked as an occasional exotic dancer"

      "For your next furneral, why not hire one of our exotic dancers!"

      You think this is a joke -- but in Taiwan, this genuinely happens. Regularly. Seen it myself...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "For your next furneral, why not hire one of our exotic dancers!"

      Great idea, Time to change my will!

      I have to have exotic dancers at my funeral, when I go,

      I want people to have a party and celebrate my life!

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: "For your next furneral, why not hire one of our exotic dancers!"

        Grave Dancer's Union?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funding

    What's he living on? Surely not love alone! Gotta have some sort of income. A man (and a woman) has to eat or is he a kept man (my life's ambition!).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Funding

      He's probably been paid quite well by the Russians

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: AC Re: Funding

        "He's probably been paid quite well by the Russians". Kim Philby thought the Russians would look after him as well. They didn't.

      2. justjosephhere

        Re: Funding

        Source for you opinion, please.

        The man has courage and lives up to principles in which he believes!

        You share your opinion.

        What have you contributed to dialog herein?

        Source to support your nonsense, please.

        Personally, I wish both of them well. All happiness be theirs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Funding

      He can make a living for the next 10 years with consulting, especially if he keeps quiet on the subject of who he works for.

      He does not even need to take Putin's penny and in fact from a financial perspective that will be the most stupid move he can make.

      In fact he can probably work till retirement as security consulting is a positive feedback loop - the more opportunities you get, the more you learn, the more valuable you are. All you need is to get sufficiently high to start the loop. The normal method for this used to be "BUGTRAQ GadFly", but that is proving to be more and more difficult nowdays so people use other means to bootstrap their careers.

      1. FormerKowloonTonger
        IT Angle

        Re: Funding

        The "Guardian" is probably giving Snowden a pretty generous stipend. He's still worth a lot of publicity for the Guardian. Besides, if Snowden is indeed so smart, he's probably learning Russian and will doubtless be very useful to the Russians, indefinitely. He's certainly a propaganda coup so far, for all involved, the "Guardian", Gruenwald, and doubtlessly Putin and his staff of writers. Lot's of cash passing to and fro'.

        Snowden's persona [the bastard] as far as we've been able - or led to believe - or to divine it from th'media - doesn't seems to lead to alcoholism. Good to be wrong here, tho'.

        The real mystery is the brain chemistry which leads these Philbys and these Snowdens to do as they do.

        We can't ever know if "it was worth it" for them.

        Such a permanent, unyielding price to pay for idealism.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Funding

          "The real mystery is the brain chemistry which leads these Philbys and these Snowdens to do as they do."

          Moscow was only intended as an airport transit stopover for Snowden. Then the USA cancelled his passport - so he couldn't leave on his booked flight to South America. They even apparently arranged for a South American politician's plane to be diverted to Austria for searching - just in case Snowden was being smuggled out.

          So the USA handed Snowden to the Russians gift-wrapped. Just that political PR coup probably suits Putin - without Snowden needing to reveal anything to the Russian intelligence agencies.

  7. thexfile

    The girl is a real hottie.

  8. Big Al

    "If you've been worrying that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been living a wretched existence in some horrible Moscow flat, shunned and alone..."

    Nope.

    Is that wrong of me?

  9. Ross K Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Next Thing You Know...

    ...Assange will be looking for a stripper to shack up with him in the Ecuadorian embassy.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure that the partners and families of those executed by ISIS are feeling so much happier knowing that snowden isn't living a sad lonely and miserable life.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/11155355/Edward-Snowden-leaks-mean-GCHQ-takes-three-times-as-long-to-track-terrorists.html

    1. P. Lee

      >/Edward-Snowden-leaks-mean-GCHQ-takes-three-times-as-long-to-track-terrorists.html

      Perhaps it would be faster if they tracked ISIS rather than spending time and resources tracking citizens of friendly countries.

      They would generate a lot less ill-will and a lot more sympathy that way.

      Unless of course, the major threats are not ISIS, but people in the West who just don't like being spied on.

      1. Rainer

        Re: >/Edward-Snowden-leaks-mean-GCHQ-takes-three-times-as-long-to-track-terrorists.html

        ISIS didn't just appear out of nothing.

        Whenever there is a power-vaccuum in the Middle-East, it gets filled with either a war-lord or a couple of religious nuts.

        You don't need to tap phones or bug computers for seeing the rise of ISIS.

        Reading and understanding Sunni blogs would probably have been enough.

        Blaming Snowden on the rise of ISIS is absolutely inane.

        We (the West) brought them on ourselves.

        The Turks still think they can have them "solve" the Kurds-"problem" and then defeat them.

        I wish I could share that optimism.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: >/Edward-Snowden-leaks-mean-GCHQ-takes-three-times-as-long-to-track-terrorists.html

          And we the West seem to think we can screw around the Middle East by alternately loving and then hating the same dictators depending on whether they are currently able to do Uncle Sam a favour. The last time I heard, Snowden wasn't in charge of UK foreign policy. GWBIII was when it was decided that Saddam had gone from asset to bad boy, creating the power vacuum referred to above. But for some reason he and his keepers get a free pass from half the US electorate.

    2. Ross K Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Keep Drinking The Kool-Aid

      I'm sure that the partners and families of those executed by ISIS are feeling so much happier knowing that snowden isn't living a sad lonely and miserable life.

      What the fuck has Snowden got to do with a bunch of animals in the Middle East?

      If I was looking for people to blame for the current state of affairs in Syria and Iraq, I'd start with the US and UK governments.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Keep Drinking The Kool-Aid

        >If I was looking for people to blame for the current state of affairs in Syria and Iraq, I'd start with

        > the US and UK governments.

        Indeed. A repeat on Radoi4Extra today was priceless. A comment from Linda Smith, during Blair and Bush's war, saying something like "It's all the fault of the Iraqi leadership being so sneaky they put all their civilians into residential areas."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the problem is that there was anything to leak, IF the NSA had been doing its job right, snowden would have had nothing to leak....

      We should be able to trust our own spooks to be doing things right, collaborating with friendly nations and not breaking laws of allies (as has been done by the USA's spooks )

  11. Doctor_Wibble

    Winners of The Running Man

    I seem to recall that Arnie documentary where previous winners of the running man competition were clearly shown to be living the life of luxury in the tropics surrounded by dancing girls etc...

  12. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hey Ed!

    PROTIP: Check her carefully for planted listening devices.

    It's what I always do.

    Paris because "Who put that there?"

  13. Tapeador
    FAIL

    "subvert foreign companies"

    The article doesn't say that. It says "uses physical subversion to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices". It doesn't even single out companies.

    That's a very different activity to the one your article described, it essentially means intercept information for public ends, whereas "subvert foreign companies" primarily implies industrial sabotage for mercantile ends.

    If the NSA were a private entity it would succeed in a libel claim.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But?

    Can he trust her?

  15. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Happy

    I for one am happy for the pair of them if they are happy!

    I have no idea if it is true love or not, but if they are happy, I am happy. Personally, I think what Snowden did was a brave thing, and I hope his GF fully supports him in it, even if it is hard to get fresh pineapple in Russia!

  16. Yugguy

    whereas

    I couldn't give a flying shite about either of them.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't liken Snowden to Kim Philby. Philby was an outright traitor, working for years as one of the chief British spies, giving away names of his colleagues to KGB for terminate them. If you google long enough, you could find the names of most of his victimsm. However, Snowden did not reveal any names, only the gross misjudgment, incompetencee, greed and base motives of many in the US intelligence community.

  18. tom dial Silver badge

    Upvoted, with reservations. Although Greenwald, Poitras, and others appear to have redacted names, and most of the illegally released material describes information that has been known for years in general, and in some cases with a fair degree of detail, the material also contains quite a few additional details that may not have been known. It may enable information assurance and counterintelligence personnel to detect vulnerabilities and targets, and concurrently to identify individuals who provided assistance, that would have been impossible or much more difficult without the release. Vulnerability and target identification result only or primarily in loss of sources and compromise of methods, but identification of agents that might result from related investigations could lead to their imprisonment or worse. And of course we don't know from what has been published that more, including names of people who are now vulnerable, has not been made available privately.

    As for "gross misjudgment, incompetence, greed and base motives," it is not entirely clear that the released material show it extending much beyond the outsourcing of background investigations. A considerable part of the material describes the details and mostly successful operation of internal and judicial controls aimed at protecting US citizens from unwarranted government action, and the major, if not only, release of privacy impacting information about anyone has been as part of the "revelations": the NSA collected, processed, and retained email message contents under FISA rules; Snowden removed it from their control, and those to whom he provided access made it public.

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