Edward Snowden Joined Twitter And His First Tweet Is Seriously Fitting
On Tuesday morning, whistleblower Edward Snowden joined Twitter as a verified account holder. Currently living in Russia, Snowden's bio reads: "I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public. Director at @FreedomofPress." His first Tweet, a reminder of the notorious file leaking that precipitated his swift departure from the United States, is a fitting introduction to the Internet age: "Can you hear me now?" It has already been retweeted thousands of times.
Interestingly enough, Snowden is following exactly one entity on Twitter: the NSA. I see what you did there, Snowden.
Snowden wrote back: ".@neiltyson 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."
Lately, Snowden has kept a relatively low profile — well, as low a profile as you can keep when you're wanted on espionage charges and hiding inside Russia. Back in 2013, Snowden leaked classified documents to journalist Glenn Greenwald, then of British newspaper The Guardian, that revealed the high degree of mass surveillance the National Security Agency had been forcing on the American people. Initially in Russia for one year, Snowden was granted three more years in Putin country, and is thought to be currently hitting up other countries for asylum.
In February, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, among other big-name actors like Nicholas Cage, began filming Snowden, a feature film based on that chapter of American history. Here's the first look at Gordon-Levitt as Snowden, via the teaser trailer (I'm really hoping he tweets his opinion on this one next.)
Snowden occasionally appears via video feed on panels about mass surveillance and Internet freedoms, among other topics. Earlier this year, his lawyer shared with The New York Times that Snowden lives entirely off speaking fees.
His Twitter photo and background are also significant. Well aware that the rest of his life will be dictated by his decision to leak those documents, Snowden's Twitter background is a sheaf of newspapers broadcasting the NSA's data collection to be illegal. His main photo, meanwhile, is a serious, black-and-white shot of Snowden looking away from the camera.