Edward Snowden’s leaks have caused a ‘massive shift’ In the public’s views of government surveillance

Business Insider reports: National Security Agency leak source Edward Snowden is viewed as a “whistleblower” by most Americans, and his leaks have caused a “massive shift” in public opinion against government surveillance, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Snowden — who is currently seeking political asylum while holed up in Russia — is viewed as a “whistleblower” by 55% of poll respondents. Only 34% view him as a “traitor.”

But the most significant change came in the public’s view of the NSA’s surveillance programs, which Snowden exposed in a series of leaks to the Washington Post and The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald.

By a 45-40 margin, voters now say that the government goes too far in restricting civil liberties in the name of anti-terrorism efforts. That’s a huge reversal from January 2010, when the public said by a 63-25 margin that the government didn’t go far enough.

“The massive swing in public opinion about civil liberties and governmental anti-terrorism efforts, and the public view that Edward Snowden is more whistle-blower than traitor are the public reaction and apparent shock at the extent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac polling institute. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Edward Snowden’s leaks have caused a ‘massive shift’ In the public’s views of government surveillance

  1. Norman

    O.K., a massive shift in the public’s views. The question is, are they going to do anything meaningful about this, or just snivel & whine? Of course, now the people are viewed as potential terrorists by the NSA/Homeland Security/F.B.I./police departments, etc. Does congress also think this? Food for thought for those inquiring minds.

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