Edward Snowden joined twitter Tuesday under the handle @Snowden.
The whistleblower who has been living in Russia since leaking the National Security Agency's spying practices in 2013 tweeted simply, "Can you hear me now?" and gained thousands of followers within minutes.
U.S. & World
His official presence in the twitterverse comes just days after an interview with astrophysicist Niel deGrasse Tyson, who asked Snowden why he hadn't joined Twitter yet.
Snowden's second tweet on Tuesday was directed at Tyson, thanking him for the welcome, expressing excitement about the discovery of water on Mars and asking if Tyson thinks "they check passports at the border."
"Asking for a friend," he added.
When Tyson asked how he responds to labels such as "hero" or "traitor," Snowden replied that he preferred the label "citizen."
In his Twitter bio the former NSA contractor said "I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public" and lists himself as the Director at @FreedomofPress, a nonprofit founded in 2012 to support free speech and freedom of the press.
An hour and a half after his first tweet, @Snowden gained over 200,000 followers but followed only one account: @NSAGov.