Edward J. Snowden, popularly known as the person behind WikiLeaks and former contractor with the National Security Agency (NSA) has now officially joined the microblogging site Twitter. Snowden was encouraged to join Twitter by the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson who is also a television host.
Tyson had interviewed Snowden on a radio talk show Star Talk in which Snowden participated from Moscow through a robot in the form of a tele-presence. Snowden is currently living in Moscow after he was granted a temporary asylum in 2013 when he feared for his life from major western powers due to WikiLeaks.
Within the very first hour of Snowden joining Twitter, he had 160,000 people following him. The first tweet from Snowden was “Can you hear me now?” Twitter is abuzz with the fact of Snowden joining it and people are making references to his revelations of the incidents of phone calls spying by the government agencies.
In 2013, Snowden leaked government documents that showed that government spied on phone calls of people including a court order to Verizon ordering it to give information to the NSA about all telephone calls. The documents leaked by Snowden were then published by the British daily newspaper “The Guardian”.
Snowden’s joining on Twitter was welcomed by Glenn Greenwald, a former journalist with “The Guardian” and The Intercept’s Dan Froomkin. Greenwald met Snowden in Hong Kong and based on the information provided by Snowden about the activities of the government published about it in the newspaper.
The biography of Snowden on Twitter states, “I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public.” His biography also specifies that he is the director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation which is a non-profit organisation.
Many of Snowden’s followers have reported that the only entity followed by Snowden on Twitter is the NSA.