Poll: Americans support Snowden, would like to see him prosecuted

Time | South China Morning Post | Reuters | The Huffington Post

54 percent of Americans believe Edward Snowden "did a 'good thing'" by exposing government surveillance programs, a new Time poll says. 53 percent nonetheless "said he should be prosecuted for the leak," Zeke J. Miller reports.

58 percent of Democrats said they approved of the snooping. Only 39 percent of Republicans said the same. 74 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents said they were following the story closely; 58 percent of Democrats said the same. Among people who followed the news closely, 56 percent approve of Snowden's decision to leak the information.

Time's new cover shows Snowden alongside Bradley Manning and Aaron Swartz:

Snowden, who is reportedly in hiding in Hong Kong, gave an interview to the South China Morning Post and claimed "the NSA had been hacking computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland since 2009," Lana Lam reports. " I am not here to hide from justice, I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden said.

David Ingram and Joseph Ax and catalog the nine cases of leakers who have been prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act. Six of those cases "occurred in the last eight years," they note.

Those cases prosecuted people who allegedly leaked to reporters. U.S. Rep. Peter King Wednesday said reporters who publish classified information should face penalties: "I think on something of this magnitude, there is an obligation both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something that would so severely compromise national security," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper. King told Fox News' Megyn Kelly Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald "has said that he has names of CIA agents and assets around the world, and they're threatening to disclose that."

The Guardian said in a statement it was "surprised and disappointed" by the comments. Greenwald told Cooper King's charges are a "complete falsehood."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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