Father of leaker Snowden's girlfriend 'shocked' by news

LAUREL, MARYLAND (AP) - The father of the girlfriend of Mr Edward Snowden described the leaker of United States government secrets as a shy man with convictions, but said on Tuesday he was "still shocked" by the news about him.

Mr Jonathan Mills, speaking to reporters outside his home in Laurel, Maryland, described the 29-year-old Snowden as "very nice, shy and reserved".

"He's always had strong convictions of right and wrong, and it kind of makes sense. But still shocked," Mr Mills said, describing his reaction to the news about Mr Snowden.

Mr Mills also said his daughter, Lindsay, who has been dating Mr Snowden for four or five years, is holding on amid the national controversy. He said he has texted his daughter, but that he did not know where she was.

Mr Mills also said he last saw his daughter two months ago, when she came to visit for a week. She is doing "as well as could be expected, and that's all I have to say", he said.

Ms Lindsay Mills, a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, wrote on her blog, "My world has opened and closed all at once. Leaving me lost at sea without a compass."

"Surely there will be villainous pirates, distracting mermaids, and tides of change in this new open water chapter of my journey," she added. "But at the moment all I can feel is alone."

She wrote of her hand being forced, typing on her "tear-streaked keyboard", and reflecting on "all the faces that have graced my path". She said that she did not get to "bid adieu" to some, then added: "But sometimes life doesn't afford proper goodbyes."

Mr Snowden, a former intelligence contractor, has identified himself as the person who leaked details of a secret National Security Agency surveillance programme to The Guardian and Washington Post.

Asked if he had a message for Mr Snowden, Mr Mills said: "Just wish him good luck and he's got my love."