Edward Snowden has a flair for the dramatic, so it comes as no surprise that his first tweet of all time is pretty darn great.


His second? A question for none other than universal treasure Neil deGrasse Tyson — and a very telling one at that.

Snowden just joined Twitter today. He had over 300,000 followers within hours, but he was following only one account.

Perfect.


Love him or hate him, Snowden touched off more than one critically important debate.

How much latitude should the U.S. government have to spy on its own citizens? What about on citizens of other countries? How freely should companies turn over their data to the government? Can you truly be a whistleblower if you flee the country to avoid facing legal consequences?

And what exactly ... is that facial hair? Exactly?

He's come in for his fair share of criticism to be sure.

Some have criticized Snowden's revelations as overblown. Many have accused him of hypocrisy for fleeing to Russia, a country which also practices extensive domestic surveillance. And others have blasted him for providing critical intelligence to enemies of the United States.

But Snowden's leak has actually led to some real change — and some positive change at that.

Snowden's massive document dump woke up some tech companies to the public relations nightmare that could result from helping governments spy on their users, and many have taken steps to provide more transparency about such requests.

In addition, some argue that the revelations paved the way for legal challenges to the NSA's power to flourish when several years ago they might have died quietly with little fanfare.

It's been slow, gradual change. But change nonetheless. Much of it resulting in more people having greater rights to privacy.

Welcome to Twitter, Edward Snowden.

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images.

Regardless of how we feel about you, you're more than just a giant face on a far-away screen to us.

You're an interesting voice, with interesting things to say. And we're curious to keep on hearing what they are.

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