A majority of American voters think NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a whistleblower, not a traitor, and there has been a dramatic shift in how they view the government’s efforts to battle terrorism, a new poll said Wednesday.
Mr. Snowden, a former security analyst at the National Security Agency, disclosed top-secret programs to newspapers and then fled the United States.
Quinnipiac University’s national poll shows 55 percent of voters place Mr. Snowden in the whistleblower category. Only 34 percent labeled him as a traitor.
The poll also showed 45 percent of voters think the government has gone too far in restricting civil liberties while fighting terrorism, while 40 percent took the opposing view.
Those results reflect a “massive shift in attitudes” since a January 2010 survey by Quinnipiac, when voters said — 63 percent to 25 percent — that “such activities didn’t go far enough to adequately protect the country.”
There was a significant gender gap in views, however.
Men, 54 percent to 34 percent, said the government has gone too far. Women, by 47 percent to 36 percent, said the government’s efforts have not gone far enough.