Judging from some of the pointed questions he’s been asked and the reaction to newly leaked revelations over the past few days, it’s clear that much of the sympathy and support Edward Snowden had built up for his early exposures is eroding.
Many Americans supported his decision to leak information about a pair of National Security Agency surveillance programs, which, he detailed, gathered information from phone calls and electronic communications.
But things have changed once Snowden started blurring the line between “whistleblower” and straight “leaker.”
Late last week, he provided documents to the South China Morning Post that showed the government had repeatedly hacked into Chinese computers. On Sunday, The Guardian published documents provided by Snowden that detailed how American cyber spies had intercepted communications of then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
In a live chat with The Guardian on Monday, Snowden suggested that he believed all government spying was wrong.
“When NSA makes a technical mistake during an exploitation operation, critical systems crash. Congress hasn’t declared war on the countries — the majority of them are our allies — but without asking for public permission, NSA is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people,” Snowden wrote.
“And for what? So we can have secret access to a computer in a country we’re not even fighting? So we can potentially reveal a potential terrorist with the potential to kill fewer Americans than our own Police? No, the public needs to know the kinds of things a government does in its name, or the ‘consent of the governed’ is meaningless.”
Not a lot of people were surprised at the basic fact that U.S. agents were spying on Russia. That’s what countries do.
A new CNN/ORC poll released Monday showed, however, that the majority of the American public has soured on his actions. The poll found that 52 per cent disapproved of Snowden’s actions in leaking the classified information, compared with 44 per cent who approve. According to the poll, 54 per cent said that the U.S. should attempt to extradite Snowden and prosecute him for releasing the information.
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