FACT CHECK: Did Edward Snowden Post On Telegram That He’ll Expose The Misdeeds Of ‘Corrupt Powers Within Governments’?
An image shared on Instagram purportedly shows a Telegram post by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden pledging that he will reveal every wrongdoing by “all the corrupt powers within governments.”
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The statement has been misattributed to Snowden. Snowden has denied having a Telegram account.
Snowden released classified documents to journalists in 2013 as an NSA contract worker, according to NBC News. The files detailed surveillance of Americans by U.S. government intelligence agencies, NPR reported. Snowden was given permanent residency in Russia in 2020, according to Reuters.
The image in the Instagram post shows an Oct. 6 post seemingly from the unverified Telegram channel @Edward_Snowden_Channel. The Telegram channel’s bio, like the bio of Snowden’s verified Twitter account, reads, “I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public.” The @Edward_Snowden_Channel is no longer publicly accessible, having stated in its first post on Oct. 5 that the channel would be “set to private” seven days later.
“To all the corrupt powers within governments: I bear you personally ill will,” the Telegram post reads in part. “You are merely a product of the system within which you are ensnared. You had a chance to get out but you stayed – Remember there is not a single misdeed in your life that I will not uncover and make public. Doubt me at your risk.”
Snowden does not appear to be the author of the statement. A search of his verified Twitter account turned up no similar statements. Nor did he mention such a thing in any articles on the newsletter publishing platform Substack. A wider internet search turned up no news reports crediting the statement Snowden.
Furthermore, Snowden stated on Twitter on Oct. 9 that he does not have a Telegram account. When asked about it he replied, “If you see one, it’s fake.” (RELATED: Did Telegram Announce Apple Will Remove Its App From Phones?)
The channel’s Oct. 5 post called Telegram “the safest of all platforms,” which contradicts previous comments Snowden has made on Twitter criticizing Telegram’s security. Snowden has also taken to Twitter to recommend using the messaging app Signal instead of Telegram.