Amid reports that Edward Snowden has been granted permission to enter Russia, a poll released Wednesday found that American attitudes toward the National Security Agency leaker have shifted markedly in the last month.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post found that 53 percent of Americans are in favor of criminal charges being brought against Snowden, a jump from a poll in June that found a plurality of 48 percent opposed to charging the 30-year-old former government contractor with a crime.
Moreover, the latest ABC/WaPo survey found that 57 percent of Americans believe it’s more important for the government to investigate potential terrorist threats than for it to protect privacy rights. Nearly half of Americans — 49 percent — said that Snowden’s disclosures of top secret surveillance programs harmed national security either a “great deal” or “somewhat.”
A poll earlier this month from Quinnipiac University found that a wide majority of Americans considered Snowden a whistelblower and not a traitor. Reports out of Russia on Tuesday indicated that Snowden has been given documents to leave the Moscow airport, where he’s been staying for the last month.