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Edward Snowden’s Twitter account bags almost a million followers in less than a day

In case you’ve been locked in an isolation ward for a couple of years, Edward Snowden was once a contractor for the CIA and privy to many of the USA’s secrets.

What he found was that the US was not only conducting mass surveillance on its own citizens, but also other nations in a programme called “Prism” with which the The National Security Agency (NSA) even had access to the vast systems of Google and Facebook.

Snowden brought this gross violation of privacy and outright illegal activity of the government, providing media with proof of the existence of Prism which then became mainstream knowledge.

Since then, Snowden has become a wanted fugitive of the US and has taken up temporary asylum in Russia. So, what is Snowden’s next move? Joining the social media platform Twitter, apparently.

His account, @Snowden, sent out its first Tweet as of 19:00 (GMT +2), September 29th 2015:

In the sixteen hours since then the account has gained 896 000 followers and has been verified by Twitter.

Snowden’s Twitter account is not all serious, though. His account bio reads: “I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public. Director at @FreedomofPress“. Despite the large number of followers, he is only following one account: the NSA, which means that the only body Snowden follows is a branch of the government that is trying to track him down and put him in jail.

Proving that his sense of humour isn’t limited to one tweet, he then reached to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson kidding about the recent announcement of there possibly being liquid water on Mars:

Tyson and Snowden recently got acquainted on the radio show Star Talk, in which Snowden had to be represented by a robot with a live video feed for a face.

Tweets and jokes aside, why would Snowden join Twitter? Besides trying to get his opinions across (as we all do on social media) and promoting the Freedom of the Press Foundation, we have to imagine that leaving your home country and everything you know is more than a tad alienating. Being able to openly communicate with anyone on Earth may bring the fugitive some solace as the year comes to a close and he remains on the run.

If captured, the 32-year-old would possibly face 30 years in prison.

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