‘Can you hear me now?’ Snow­den joins Twit­ter, only fol­lows NSA

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Ed­ward Snow­den, who has con­founded U.S. of­fi­cials since his abrupt de­par­ture from the coun­try two years ago, has just found a new mega­phone in Twit­ter.

The for­mer Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency worker who leaked clas­si­fied doc­u­ments about gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance started tweet­ing Tues­day. He had more than 185,000 fol­low­ers an hour af­ter his first tweet, “Can you hear me now?” Six hours later, he was up to 625,000 fol­low­ers.

Snow­den is fol­low­ing just one ac­count: tweets from the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency.

Like other high- pro­file peo­ple on the mes­sag­ing ser­vice, Snow­den’s ac­count has a blue and white check mark, in­di­cat­ing that it was ver­i­fied by Twit­ter.

A spokesman at Twit­ter Inc. con­firmed that it gave Snow­den the ( at) Snow­den user­name, which was be­ing used by some­one else. The NSA did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

Snow­den is cur­rently liv­ing in ex­ile in Rus­sia. He faces charges in the U.S. that could land him in prison for up to 30 years.

Twit­ter has hosted other con­tro­ver­sial fig­ures and groups. Whistle­blower web­site Wik­iLeaks has a ver­i­fied Twit­ter ac­count, as does Kim Dot­com, the founder of illegal down­load site Megau­pload.

AP

In this Feb. 14, file photo, Ed­ward Snow­den ap­pears on a live video feed broad­cast from Moscow at an event spon­sored by ACLU Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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