Edward Snowden joined Twitter on Tuesday -- gaining tens of thousands of followers in a matter of minutes.
The whistleblower, who has made his home in Russia since revealing the National Security Agency's spying programs, tweeted a simple first message using the handle @Snowden: "Can you hear me now?"
Snowden's bio on Twitter, among the least private of online mediums, says he "used to work for the government." Snowden has made occasional public appearances via video stream and given interviews on the subjects of privacy and domestic data collection since he fled to Russia in 2013. He is a director at the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com