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American whistleblower Snowden joins Twitter, follows only NSA

American whistleblower Edward Snowden, who revealed the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying programs, joined the micro-blogging site Twitter on Tuesday and gained followers quickly.

world Updated: Sep 30, 2015 07:14 IST
HT Correspondent
Within an hour after posting his first tweet, “Can you hear me now?” he had registered more than 1,60,000 followers, while following only one– the NSA’s official account. Renowned journalists and leading international media organisations, political leaders and civil society organisations followed him within minutes of his first tweet.
Within an hour after posting his first tweet, “Can you hear me now?” he had registered more than 1,60,000 followers, while following only one– the NSA’s official account. Renowned journalists and leading international media organisations, political leaders and civil society organisations followed him within minutes of his first tweet.(HT Photo)

American whistleblower Edward Snowden, who revealed the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying programs, joined the micro-blogging site Twitter on Tuesday and gained followers quickly.

Within an hour of posting his first tweet, “Can you hear me now?” he registered more than 1,60,000 followers, while following only one– the NSA’s official account. At the time of updating this report the profile had 5,12,000 followers.

Renowned journalists and leading international media organisations, political leaders and civil society organisations started following Snowden within minutes of his first tweet.

Snowden faces criminal charges in the US for leaking NSA documents and now lives in Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum.

The profile description says: “I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public. Director at @FreedomofPress.”

Snowden serves on the board of directors for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an organisation aimed at “defending and supporting cutting-edge transparency journalism in the face of adversity”.

The first conversation that Snowden had on Twitter was with famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Tyson wrote to him, “Ed @Snowden, glad to see the long exile hasn’t affected your sense of humor. Staying busy?”

Snowden replied, “@neiltyson Surveillance never sleeps, and secret projects @FreedomofPress are keeping me busy, but I still find time for cat pictures.”

Later, he took a dig at the NSA by tweeting:

Fort Meade is an American army base which houses the headquarters of several important defence and intelligence bodies, including the NSA.

Read: Snowden attacks Russia’s online restrictions, curbs on rights