Edward Snowden joins Twitter

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NEW YORK — Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked thousands of classified NSA documents, has officially joined Twitter.

“Can you hear me now?” Snowden tweeted at noon ET, 7 pm Moscow time.

Snowden’s Twitter profile bears the blue check mark, meaning Twitter has verified that Snowden is the true owner of the account.

“I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public,” Snowden’s profile reads.

His occupation: Director at Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit “dedicated to helping support and defend public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government.”

Snowden has lived in Russia, where he has been granted asylum, since leaking classified NSA documents to reporters in 2013.

Within 15 minutes of his first tweet, Snowden amassed more than 30,000 followers, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey had written a personal welcome: “Yes!” Dorsey tweeted. “Welcome to Twitter.”

About an hour after his first tweet, Snowden reached more than 150,000 followers.

But Snowden is following just one account: @NSAGov.