Lindsey Mills and her boyfriend, former NSA operative Edward Snowden, are celebrities, but that’s something Mr. Snowden says he did not want.
When Edward Snowden, the so-called NSA whisleblower, stepped forward from obscurity to announce himself as the person who leaked the documents related to an National Security Agency surveillance program called PRISM, he told The Guardian UK‘s Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras that “I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.” That idea was Edward Snowden’s first tactical error, because, in this social media environment, people are voyeurs – the story will always be about the person, first, and over the thing they created. And Edward Snowden and his girlfriend Lindsey Mills offer up a story ready made for soap-opera lovers.
That was true the very minute Edward Snowden approached the The Guardian UK‘s journalists and gave his name. The name “Edward Snowden” alone was enough to start an Internet search. “Edward Snowden” went from zero Google Insight For Search intensity on June 7th, to 30 on June 9th, to his current high of 100 as of June 11th, 2013. Edward Snowden is now a bonafide “A-list” celebrity, and Lindsey Mills, having been discovered as a result of Snowden’s actions and what he did, first appeared on the Google Trends line on June 11th, with a ranking of 30 – or from my experience, “B-List” celebrity level.
Be it “A-List” or “B-List” the point is that people are so curious about both of them, that they take to the Internet to read as much about them as they can. That’s not to say there’s no interest in the PRISM program, but the fact is, there are so many kind of “prisms” that you have to factor out all of the other possible words related to physics to get to the one that concerns the NSA.
Without the NSA added to PRISM, it’s search intensity has been as high as 59, much higher than Lindsey Mills, but not close to the 100 for Mr. Snowden. As you can see:
And when we use “PRISM nsa” instead, the overall search intensity for that term drops dramatically, to just 2. with Ms. Mills at 3, and Edward Snowden at 100. What this proves is that, as much as Edward Snowden says he wants the story to be about PRISM, it’s about him, and there’s nothing he can do about it. If he really wanted the story to be about PRISM and what the government is doing, or what he says its doing, Snowden should have never revealed his name, let alone shown his face.