WASHINGTON, October 30 (RIA Novosti) – A new online poll has revealed that Americans are deeply divided over whether to describe National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden as a hero or a traitor, The Huffington Post reported Wednesday.
Fifty-one percent of American respondents in the multi-nation survey said Snowden was “something of a hero who should be commended for letting the public know that our governments are running electronic surveillance programs that threaten people’s privacy."
But 49 percent of Americans labeled him “more of a traitor who should be condemned for publicizing security activities and threatening western intelligence operations," The Huffington Post reported, citing a poll carried out Oct. 23 by the Vancouver, Canada-based public opinion firm Angus Reid Global.
"Neither" and "undecided" were not offered as options.
The poll also found broad unease regarding the US government’s surveillance practices, with 60 percent of Americans describing widespread electronic government surveillance as “unacceptable.”
Fifty-four percent said that "security and anti-terrorism efforts mean we may sometimes have to infringe on civil liberties such as personal information privacy.”
In the other countries polled, Snowden enjoyed much broader support, with 67 percent of those in Canada and 60 percent in the United Kingdom viewing him as a hero, according to The Huffington Post.