Ars Technica's Joe Mullin reveals that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was likely a frequent commenter on Ars, posting under the name TheTrueHOOHA, since he was 17 years old in 2001. Snowden disclosed that "TheTrueHOOHA" was his handle on an anime site, and the Ars user with that handle matches many of Snowden's details. Mullin picks a few of TheTrueHOOHA's posts:
At one point in 2006, Snowden/HOOHA joked about how one user's Xbox 360 is "NSA's new surveillance program." The strange clicking noise that another Ars user heard coming from his console? "That's the sound of freedom, citizen!"
On another occasion, TheTrueHOOHA talked firearms; he owned a Walther P22 and "love[s] it to death... I don't intend to be in combat anytime soon." But he "could still use it to put ten tiny holes in important parts of a home invader if necessary, though." In addition to owning his own gun, he played Airsoft, a kind of paintball-like activity with realistic-looking guns.
He also worried about corporations and government actions that could make society less free. In 2010, Snowden responded to a post about a system built by Cisco, meant for government wiretappers, that was found unsafe.