Snowden’s actions in 2012 and 2013 caused a media uproar. some called Snowden a whistleblower, others calling him a hero, and some even labeling him a traitor. According to Business Insider, in January 2010 Americans surveyed said our government did not go far enough in terms of restricting civil liberties in the name of anti-terrorism efforts, by a margin of 63-25. This was in a post 9-11 political climate, before the public had knowledge of the NSA’s surveillance programs.
After Snowden revealed the NSA’s data gathering operations in 2013, public opinion shifted. By July 2013, a slight majority of Americans surveyed said the Government goes “too far”, when it comes to restricting civil liberties in the name of anti-terrorism, by a margin of 45-40. The public’s view of Snowden after his 2013 actions is generally better than that of our governments surveillance programs, 55% of poll respondents label him a “whistleblower” while only 34% label him a “traitor”.
(Chart: Quinnipiac University).