Edward Snowden joined Twitter on Tuesday -- gaining tens of thousands of followers in a matter of minutes.
The former government contractor, who has made his home in Russia since revealing the National Security Agency’s spying programs, tweeted a simple first message using the handle @Snowden: “Can you hear me now?”
Snowden’s bio on Twitter, among the least private of online mediums, says he “used to work for the government. Now I work for the public.” Snowden has made occasional public appearances via video stream and given interviews on the subjects of privacy and domestic data collection since he fled to Russia in 2013. He is a director at the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Snowden was following only one other Twitter account: the NSA's.
A story posted on The Intercept -- the online investigative publication co-founded by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the first stories off secret documents provided by Snowden -- included a confirmation from Snowden's lawyer that the Twitter account would be controlled by Snowden himself.