If you want to reach the most wanted hacker on the globe, just tweet at him. Years after leaking the biggest national security document dump since the Pentagon Papers, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden on Tuesday officially joined Twitter, via the handle @Snowden.
His bio: "I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public.”
Snowden, still bundled up in asylum in Moscow since 2013, enters a social network with hundreds if not thousands of imposter or tribute accounts tweeting in his name. But thanks to his verified blue checkmark, rubber-stamped by Twitter staff, fellow Twitter users will now be able to tell the real deal from the phonies.
His decision to finally take the dive into Twitter came after a podcast recorded with science guru and prolific tweeter Neil deGrasse Tyson, who asked the leaker why he hadn’t already joined.
“You kind of need a Twitter handle. So like @Snowden, maybe? Is this something you might do?” Tyson asked.
“That sounds good, I think we’ve got to make it happen,” Snowden said.
Tyson promised they would be “Twitter buddies. “Your followers will be: the Internet, me and the NSA.”
On Thursday, Snowden told Fusion during a Q&A that he had to make sure entering Twitter wouldn’t risk exposing himself.
“One of the big challenges in the situation I’m in is that I have all these opsec routines that I follow,” he said. “All the web publishing platforms have massive amounts of analytics embedded in them.”
“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,” he said.
Now he’s available. Already amassing hundreds of thousands of followers, Snowden himself is only following one account: @NSAGov.
Can you hear me now?
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 29, 2015