Edward Snowden joined Twitter on Tuesday. As of this writing, the former NSA contractor and whistleblower already has more than 1,00,000 followers and counting. He's @Snowden. He couldn't get the name @EdwardSnowden, because that's taken—by another Edward Snowden. And before this, Edward Snowden has been confused quite a bit for Edward Snowden. Now that Edward Snowden is on Twitter, though, Edward Snowden hopes that people who want to reach Edward Snowden will be able to direct their words to the right Edward Snowden.
To clear it all up, we spoke to the lesser-known Edward Snowden, a fine gent from the U.K.
So, tell me briefly about yourself. You haven't leaked any NSA secrets,
I'm a 35-year-old married father of two children working as a company director in a firm of chartered surveyors. I love sport, namely football, golf, and horse racing. Woking with the general public on a day-to-day basis, representing them in real estate, means discretion at all times—so no leaking information from this end.
You joined Twitter in 2011. The other Edward Snowden revealed himself in 2013. What happened that day—did people think you were him, and tweet at you?
My phone started vibrating and one or two tweets came through advising it could be a long few days. It's only when I went on Google did I realise what had happened. I can't imagine people mistook me for him—I am far better looking, haha—but they did use my Twitter handle for a while and sent both very positive and very negative tweets directed towards his actions.
Have you ever considered changing your Twitter handle, just to escape being misidentified?
No. In fact very few people in the UK actually paid any attention to it, and any negative vibes were clearly misdirected.
@Snowden was registered by someone else, but had been inactive for years. So Twitter just gave it to Edward. What would have happened if he came to you, asking for @EdwardSnowden instead? Would you have sold it to him?
Maybe he did! Sadly, I jest. Never given it a thought, to be honest.
How often do you get a tweet from someone who thinks they're referencing the other Edward Snowden?
Generally never. Today, regularly.
What's the weirdest thing that¹s happened to you since you became the lesser-famous Edward Snowden?
Nothing stands out, but I suspect it would have been different had I lived in the USA. The most surprising thing was to encounter a Homeland Security official who actually had a sense of humour at Atlanta airport this summer. We had a good laugh.