You can now follow @CIA on Twitter. The Central Intelligence Agency got its very own verified Twitter account Friday and a few minutes ago sent out its first tweet:
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014
The CIA will also be launching a Facebook account in an attempt more directly engage with the public. In a press release, Director John Brennan said:
“By expanding to these platforms, CIA will be able to more directly engage with the public and provide information on CIA’s mission, history, and other developments. We have important insights to share, and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the Agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission.”
Of course, since the @CIA handle was already taken, the agency had to file an “impersonation complaint” with Twitter to obtain it, something a department spokesperson told The Washington Post is “routine for government agencies.”
That first message uses what’s known as the Glomar Response, which the CIA developed back in the 1970s surrounding a secret mission to lift a Soviet submarine from the bottom of the ocean and is now used in relation to almost anything the agency simultaneously does and doesn’t want to the rest of the world to know it is doing.
So far, the best CIA on Twitter joke came courtesy of NowThis News:
For the first time in history the CIA is only following 25 people. pic.twitter.com/othuOAMG2C
— NowThis News (@nowthisnews) June 6, 2014
Listen to the excellent “Neither Conform Nor Deny” episode of Radiolab, which dives deep into the history of the Glomar Response below, via WNYC:
[Photo via Twitter]
>> Follow Matt Wilstein (@TheMattWilstein) on Twitter
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