Edward Snowden, controversial figure on privacy, opens Twitter account

"Can you hear me now?"

By Andrew V. Pestano

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Former National Security Agency contractor and controversial figure Edward Snowden joined Twitter on Tuesday.

"I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public," Snowden wrote as his description on the social media platform.


Snowden became both revered and notorious after revealing the NSA's methods of collecting metadata on millions of Americans in 2013, a method ruled unconstitutional in May.

As a fugitive accused of espionage, Snowden is charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.

The first account Snowden followed was the official account of the NSA and the Central Security Service

"Can you hear me now?" Snowden wrote in his first tweet.

Snowden also thanked astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson for welcoming him to Twitter and made a tongue-in-cheek remark about the recent NASA announcement that verified evidence of flowing water on Mars.


"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," Snowden wrote.

The NSA collected telephone metadata under the authority of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allowed for secret court orders to collect "tangible things" that could be used by the government in investigations. A federal appeals court ruled that practice was unconstitutional, effectively making it illegal.

Snowden is living in Russia under temporary asylum and is a director of the Freedom of the Press advocacy group.

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