Edward Snowden, the notorious whistleblower who leaked classified information from the US National Security Agency (NSA) back in 2013, is the last person on Earth we thought would have a social networking account.

This man just surprised everyone!

Edward Snowden First Tweet

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Proving that he’s no longer just a hashtag, Snowden finally made his first foray into social media today. However, the one he joined was probably among the least private of online mediums – Twitter.

The @Snowden Twitter handle that he’s using right now once belonged to someone else. But since that certain someone hadn’t used it in 3 years, the NSA whistleblower was able to get Twitter to give it to him and get it verified at the same time.

As shown in the picture above, his first tweet reads:

The tweet was a hilarious touch on his case with NSA, with Fusion describing it as “a subtle joke invoking Verizon’s tagline and NSA phone surveillance”.

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As soon as he made his first tweet, Freedom of Press* welcomed him by tweeting:

*Since January 2014, Snowden serves on the board of directors of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit organisation headed by both mainstream and alternative journalists, as well as activists, celebrities, and filmmakers.

A former CIA employee and government contractor, Snowden was granted a one-year temporary asylum in Russia after US authorities charged him with 3 felonies in June 2013. His one-year temporary asylum was later extended to 3 years. While living in an undisclosed location in Russia, he’s seeking asylum elsewhere.

A hero to some and a traitor to others, the American computer professional remains in the limelight by making frequent appearances and doing interviews through telepresence robot and video links. According to The Intercept, his recent interview with renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on Star Talk radio show may have prompted him to join the Twitterverse.

Neil-deGrasse-Tyson-and-Edward-Snowden_Credit_Carlos-Valdes-Lora
Source: Star Talk Radio Show
During Part 2 of his interview with Tyson, Snowden was asked why he’s not on Twitter:

You kind of need a Twitter handle. So like @Snowden, maybe? Is this something you might do?

That sounds good, I think we’ve got to make it it happen,” Snowden replied.

He told Tyson:

You and I will be Twitter buddies.

He added, “Your followers will be: the Internet, me, and the NSA.

Edward-Snowden
Source: Wired
During an interview with Fusion last week, Snowden also told that “he had security concerns” when it comes to tweeting or blogging.

He explained:

Exploit codes (could be embedded) into the transactions I’m receiving from a legitimate service and compromise the security of my devices.

However, he also told Fusion that “he was working on solutions that would allow him to survive getting owned”.

His full statement is as follows:

I’ve been working for a long time on improving that and creating set-ups that are more robust and survivable when you do get owned. Because inevitably someone in a high risk situation like me is going to get owned. There’s nobody good enough to block every attack. How do you limit the damage? How do you recover in the wake of a compromise? I’ve made a lot of strides in that and am looking forward to, hopefully, participating (on social networks) in a more open and active manner in the near future.

Shortly after announcing that he has joined Twitter account, the first Twitter account that he followed was @NSAGov. Yup, he “trolled” harder than you think.

He then quickly engaged in another short Q&A session on Twitter with Tyson, who also welcomed him on Twitter:

Displaying a never-before-seen sense of humour, he later tweeted:

According to Snowden’s attorney, Ben Wizner of the ACLU, Snowden’s Twitter account is not controlled by anyone else but himself.

Considering how we have recently watched “Mr. Robot”, we must say this is actually an unexpected move from a NSA whistleblower. We don’t want to read too much into things, but we do wonder if he’s “cooking” something up. What do you think?

Meanwhile, the Edward Snowden biopic titled “Snowden” was originally slated for release this Christmas, but Open Road Films recently moved its release to an unspecified date in 2016.

Sources: The Intercept, Fusion.

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Adrina
Adrina was our former writer and now contributes to Hype. Find out what she's up to on her IG: @moonsglowslow.