Your IP access to will expire on June 15

To ensure uninterrupted reading, please contact Rachel Mines, sales director, at

The Cable

Ed Snowden Signed Up for Twitter. He Follows 1 Account — the NSA.

The days of the world's most famous whistleblower keeping a low profile are over.


Edward Snowden, the world’s most famous whistleblower, has joined Twitter, announcing his presence on the social media platform with a reference to a once ubiquitous Verizon Wireless advertising campaign. In the aftermath of his disclosures, it’s a not so subtle dig at American intelligence collection.

After providing a group of journalists with a trove of classified NSA documents in 2013, Snowden initially tried to stay out of the public eye, maintaining a fairly low profile in Moscow. He granted hardly any interviews and kept himself out of the news in an apparent effort to keep public attention focused on the substance of his disclosures.

But in the last year or so, Snowden has taken on a more public profile, appearing frequently at conferences and granting occasional interviews. His return to the public eye has coincided with the stalling of efforts to rein in Western intelligence collection powers. While his disclosures generated intense public outrage, they have led to few substantive reforms, and intelligence agencies both in the United States and the United Kingdom haven’t seen their authorities meaningfully restricted as a result of Snowden making public the full scope of their powers.

Last week, Snowden appeared via video to support a campaign to put in place an international treaty codifying privacy rights.

Snowden joined Twitter with a sardonic joke. He only follows one account, that of his former employer, the NSA.

Photo credit: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Elias Groll is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @EliasGroll

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola