54% of Americans believe Edward Snowden should be prosecuted
The majority of Americans believe that the government should pursue a criminal case against anyone who leaks classified information about the intelligence programmes, according to a survey by USA Today and Pew Research.
The national survey of 1,512 adults found that 54 per cent of the public think that government contractor Edward Snowden should be prosecuted.
The public is similarly divided over whether the leak of classified information about NSA phone and internet surveillance serves the public interest (with 49 per cent saying it is in the public interest).
People under 30 are the only age group in which a clear majority (60 per cent) said that the release of classified information about the NSA phone and email data collection program serves the public interest.
Those 30 to 64 are divided while people 65 and older think that the NSA disclosures harm the public interest (by 53 per cent to 36 per cent).
Overall, when compared to the WikiLeaks disclosures in December 2010, when just 29 per cent said it served the public interest and 53 per cent said they harmed it, we can see how attitudes toward our data privacy are changing.
The survey comes as a petition stating that “Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs” reached 111,000 signatures today.