By John Vibes
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden recently joined Twitter, making himself more visible and approachable to the general population than ever before.
Within a day of opening his first social media account since leaking information about the NSA spy program, Snowden gained over one million subscribers. However, there was only one account that he decided to follow — the NSA. The whistleblower’s first tweet read, “Can you hear me now?”
Snowden’s decision to follow the NSA speaks to the witty sense of humor he has only been able to show off at rare times during his exile. However, now he will be connected with the general public on a day-to-day basis, and along with bringing attention to his struggle, Snowden will finally be able to share his personality with the millions of people who respect him.
The description for Snowden’s new profile, @Snowden, reads: “I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public.”
Snowden’s new, direct engagement with the public has reenergized both his supporters and his critics. Some politicians have even called for Twitter to ban his account. Former New York Governor and current presidential candidate George E. Pataki tweeted to Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey, imploring him to shut down Snowden’s account while implying he was a traitor and a terrorist. The presidential candidate, who joined Twitter on October, 19 2014, only has 54,000 followers as of this writing, on the popular social media site.
— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) September 29, 2015
Snowden is currently living in asylum in Russia and is wanted in the United States for charges under the federal Espionage Act, but Russia has declined to extradite him.
Earlier this year, it was reported that a federal appeals court ruled that the controversial NSA spy program which collects phone records is actually illegal.
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