A Quinnipiac University poll has revealed US voters consider Edward Snowden to be a “whistle-blower” and not a “traitor”, despite establishment efforts to paint him as such.
55 percent considered him a whistleblower following the Prism and NSA revelations. Just 34 percent considered him a traitor.
Support for Snowden as a whistleblower was largely unchanged by divisions such as political party, gender, income, age and education.
In the recently released second part of the Snowden / Guardian interview, he predicted he would be tarred as such and gave his reasons for the leak. Snowden said he had not passed on intelligence to foreign governments and exposed the scandal because of his loyalty to the Constitution, not in spite of it.
Bloomberg reports that the poll also shows as many as 45 percent of respondents think the US government has gone too far in its encroachment on civil liberties, in the name of the war on terrorism. Back in January 2010 the majority said anti-terrorism measures didn’t go far enough.
Even Republicans and Democrats increasingly agree the restriction of civil liberties has gone too far. 41 percent of Republican respondents said they had gone too far – an enormous spike compared to just 17 percent three years ago.
Peter Brown, assistant director at Quinnipiac’s polling institute, said it would “be naive to see these numbers as anything but evidence of a rethinking by the public about the tradeoffs between security and freedom” – one of the primary talking points Snowden hoped for.