Snowden goes after Bitcoin devs, Elon, and puppy killers in X flurry

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Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the United States National Security Agency accused of espionage after leaking classified information, had a busy day on the X social media app on May 2 when he seemed to have a modicum of vitriol for everyone from the current governor of South Dakota to the world’s richest person. 

Snowden, an outspoken whistleblower who lived in asylum in Russia until 2022, when he was granted full citizenship in the country, has risen to media prominence in the wake of his whistleblower incident. Currently, he holds celebrity status, especially among some technology-based communities and is well known for speaking out on topics he considers related to freedom and privacy.

Elon Musk

Another celebrity technologist who’s known for speaking out on issues related to freedom, Elon Musk, was among those who drew the ire of Snowden during his May 2nd tirade. After Musk posted a poll asking whether someone who “tears down the American flag and puts up another flag in its place” should be deported to the country whose flag they raised, Snowden chastised the billionaire with a lesson on freedom of expression.

Source: @ElonMusk on X. 

“First of all,” Snowden began in a post on Musk’s X social media platform, “Americans’ freedom of expression, which includes all manner of flag-trampling and other unlikable acts, is constitutionally-protected for a very good reason.” He then asked what would happen if someone replaced the U.S. flag with a flag bearing the McDonald’s logo.

In an additional post, Snowden continued:

Source: @Snowden on X

“Because no law—even one described, like the Constitution, as the “supreme law of the land”—possesses a force of its own; the ink cannot leap from the page to fight for your rights. A law can only defend the people when the people defend the law. Its power derives from our own.”

To the best of our knowledge, Musk hasn’t responded.

Related: Musk to charge new X users to post, but some say it won’t stop the bots

Bitcoin

On the subject of Bitcoin, Snowden posted what he called his final warning:

Source: @Snowden on X. 

“I’ve been warning Bitcoin developers for ten years that privacy needs to be provided for at the protocol level,” he wrote, before adding “This is the final warning. The clock is ticking.”

The warning was evidently prompted by news that Wasabi Wallet developer zkSNACKs was shutting down.

It’s unclear exactly what Snowden was warning against, but the whistleblower has long been associated with cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, as a proponent and advocate.

Kristi Noem

After opining on the state of free speech on X and Bitcoin’s future, Snowden turned his barbed commentary on South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

The embattled republican recently became the target of massive social and traditional media backlash after excerpts from an upcoming book she authored were found to contain the story of her shooting a 14-month-old puppy in the head.

Noem has since gone on to defend her actions as allowable under the law and, in subsequent commentary, even gone so far as to say the puppy was untrainable and dangerous.

It was these comments, apparently, that set Snowden off and caused him to draw a comparison between excessive force in the field of law enforcement and Noem’s farm animal policies.

Source: @Snowden on X. 

Snowden’s post referred to Noem as a “puppy-killer” adding “OK lady, sure. Soon the police union will tell us that the pup was coming right for her; sudden movement, feared for her life.”