Edward Snowden is a whistleblower, not a traitor, say a majority of Americans in a new Quinnipiac poll.
By 55-34 percent, the public sees Snowden, who leaked documents detailing government programs that collect massive amounts of data from Americans, as someone exposing government secrets but not betraying his country.
The poll also found that by a 45-40 margin, voters thought the government's anti-terrorism policies went too far in curbing civil liberties. That's a change from a January, 2010, poll when voters said, by a 63-25 percent margin, that such measures did not go far enough.
"The massive swing in public opinion about civil liberties and governmental anti-terrorism efforts, and the public view that Edward Snowden is more whistleblower than traitor are the public reaction and apparent shock at the exytent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents, said Quinnipiac assistant director Peter Brown.
He noted that the poll found little differences along party lines, calling that "unusual in a country sharply divided along political lines about almost everything."