Snowden Just Joined Twitter
Neil deGrasse Tyson apparently talked him into the @snowden handle
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2015 12:24 PM CDT
Photo from the @snowden Twitter account.   (Twitter/@snowden)

(Newser) – "Can you hear me now?" isn't just a Verizon catchphrase anymore. It was also the first official tweet from Edward Snowden on Tuesday from wherever he's holed up in Russia, the Intercept reports. He was apparently cajoled into joining by Neil deGrasse Tyson during a StarTalk Radio interview on Friday in which Tyson asked the ex-NSA contractor why he wasn't on the social media site. "You kind of need a Twitter handle. So like @Snowden, maybe? Is this something you might do?" Tyson said. "That sounds good, I think we've got to make it … happen," Snowden replied.

As of now, the verified @snowden handle boasts a bio that says, "I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public," as well as 163,000 followers (and climbing) in the first hour after the handle debuted. He only has two tweets so far: the original and a second one thanking Tyson for his welcome and adding: "And now we've got water on Mars! Do you think they check passports at the border? Asking for a friend." Snowden is only following one other tweep at this time: the NSA. (Wonder what Snowden's Twitter password is?)