Americans: Snowden is a whistleblower, not a traitor

Numerous members of Congress have labeled Edward Snowden a traitor, but the American people aren't on board with that description.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows just 34 percent of Americans think Snowden is a traitor, while 53 percent say he's a whistleblower -- i.e. someone who has disclosed information that is in the public interest.

Americans continue to be pretty conflicted about the entire matter, with majorities both supporting the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' phone data (51 percent) and saying it's too intrusive (54 percent).

Overall attitudes have shifted significantly toward protecting privacy, though. While the same poll in January 2010 showed 25 percent of respondents saying the government's anti-terrorism policies went too far in restricting civil liberties, a plurality -- 45 percent -- now say they do. Forty percent say they do not.

 

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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