Edward Snowden, who has worked at the National Security Agency for the past four years in Hawaii, told The Guardian newspaper about clandestine surveillance programs that the government is conducting with its own citizens as the targets
Edward Snowden, who has worked at the National Security Agency for the past four years in Hawaii, speaking during an interview with The Guardian newspaper at an undisclosed location in Hong Kong, June 6, 2013.

new public-opinion poll reveals a majority of Americans believe former Hawaii-based National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a whistleblower, rather than a traitor.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found 55 percent of poll participants identified Snowden as a whistleblower, while 34 percent said he was a traitor.

Americans were split on whether the government’s counter-terrorism efforts went too far in restricting civil liberties as part of its war on terrorism.  Forty-five percent of those polled said the government had gone too far; 40 percent said the government had not gone far enough.

The vote was a reversal from a a January 2010 Quinnipiac survey, when nearly two-thirds of voters said the government’s activities did not go far enough to adequately protect the country.

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter Brown said the “massive swing” shows the public’s “apparent shock at the extent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents.”

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