- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Edward Snowden joined Twitter on Tuesday and gained over 100,000 followers within minutes of posting his first tweet.

The National Security Agency whistleblower, who now lives in Russia after revealing the agency’s snooping programs, went live with his new account using the handle @Snowden around noon tweeting “Can you hear me now?”

Mr. Snowden’s bio on Twitter says he “used to work for the government.” Now Mr. Snowden says he “works for the public” as the director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

So far he is following one other account: the NSA’s.

Mr. Snowden was welcomed to the social media platform by a chorus of excited tweets, including a message from noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

“Feeling a Geek vibe. Edward @Snowden, the man behind the global mass surveillance revelations. Welcome to @twitter,” Mr. deGrasse Tyson wrote.

The warm welcome prompted a lighthearted response from Mr. Snowden, and his second tweet: “[email protected] Thanks for the welcome. And now we’ve got water on Mars! Do you think they check passports at the border? Asking for a friend.”

Mr. deGrasse Tyson replied: “Ed @Snowden, If you visit Mars, I’d bet any life forms there will greet you with a sip of that water — and a tourist visa.”

A few minutes later he added “And, Ed @Snowden, glad to see the long exile hasn’t affected your sense of humor. Staying busy?”

A story posted on The Intercept — the online investigative publication co-founded by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the first stories from secret documents provided by Snowden — included a confirmation from Snowden’s lawyer that the Twitter account would be controlled by Snowden himself.

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