Edward Snowden, the fugitive US intelligence contractor, has opened up a new account on Twitter - bringing up many feelings about what he did and where he will go from here. His opening tweet? A simple, "Can you hear me now?"
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His profile says that he "used to work for the government. Now I work for the public." He is quickly amassing thousands of followers. The @Snowden account was verified by Twitter and within nine hours of joining, Mr. Snowden had accumulated more than 710,000 followers. At the time this article was released, he has over 1 million followers. That still doesn’t break Olympian and social justice advocate Caitlyn Jenner's record of reaching one million followers in just under four hours, but it is still pretty impressive.
Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for leaking secrets about the government, only follows one person on the social networking site - the US National Security Agency, the NSA.
While no one knows for sure where he lives, it is believed that he is spending his time in Moscow, where he is being sheltered from US prosecutors.
His second tweet is a bit funnier than the first, showing off his humor. In a reply to US astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson - Mr. Snowden joked: "Now we've got water on Mars! Do you think they check passports at the border? Asking for a friend."
And in another tweet where he replied to someone calling him out for what he did, he said: "Hero, traitor - I'm just a citizen with a voice."
Snowden left the United States in 2013 after he leaked details about internet and phone surveillance by US intelligence agency NSA. His information created a complete meltdown for the government and the media talked about the collection of telephone records from tens of millions of Americans. Before he left the United States, it is believed that Snowden downloaded 1.7 million documents.
Though some consider Snowden to be a traitor and he faces up to 30 years in prison in the US, some also consider him to be a champion of civil liberties.
Earlier this year, speaking via video-link to a Geneva audience, he said he would like to be granted asylum in Switzerland.
Regarding a possible return to the US, he told the audience that authorities there had given him no assurances of a fair trial.
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"The only thing they've said at this point was that they would not execute me," he said. "That's not quite the same thing as agreeing to a fair and open trial."