More Americans now think Edward Snowden did the wrong thing in releasing classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.
According to the new poll, 38 percent of Americans think that Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency, did the wrong thing, while 33 percent said he did the right thing. Still, 29 percent of Americans remain unsure about Snowden's actions.
Another HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted just after Snowden revealed his identity publicly found that 38 percent said Snowden did the right thing and only 35 percent said he did the wrong thing.
Much of the drop in support for Snowden's actions since the earlier poll appears to have taken place among Republicans, who were divided, 37 percent to 37 percent, on whether Snowden did the right thing in the previous poll, but in the latest poll said by a 44 percent to 29 percent margin that he did the wrong thing.
In the new poll, Democrats said that Snowden did the wrong thing by a 46 percent to 26 percent margin, while independents said that he did the right thing by a 40 percent to 28 percent margin. Neither of those margins were significantly changed from the previous poll.
In the earlier survey, those who said they had heard the most about Snowden's actions were the most likely to say he had done the right thing, but Snowden had no such advantage among those paying most attention in the latest poll.
According to the new survey, 51 percent of Americans now say they've heard a lot about Snowden, while 38 percent say they've heard a little and only 11 percent said they've heard nothing at all.
Forty-eight percent of respondents to the poll said that they support prosecuting Snowden for his actions, while 33 percent were opposed.
A separate series of YouGov polls conducted for The Economist also found ratings of Snowden dropped over the course of the past two weeks, while at the same time support for his prosecution has risen.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted July 1-2 among 1,000 adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.
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First Guardian Story On NSA Leaks Breaks
On June 5, <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order" target="_blank">The Guardian</a> published a story revealing details about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs under President Barack Obama. Reporter Glenn Greenwald obtained a <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/06/verizon-telephone-data-court-order" target="_blank">top secret order</a> that shows the government is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers in the United States. <em>Photo: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber</em>
Second Guardian Story On PRISM Published
On June 6, The Guardian published a second story detailing a previously undisclosed program called <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data" target="_blank">Prism</a>. Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill reported: <blockquote>The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says. The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers.</blockquote> <em>Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak</em>
Edward Snowden Revealed As Whistleblower
On June 9, <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance" target="_blank">Edward Snowden was revealed</a> to be the whistleblower who leaked the top-secret documents to The Guardian. Snowden is a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the Central Intelligence Agency and an employee of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. His identity was revealed at his request. <em>Photo: AP Photo/The Guardian</em>
On June 11, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/snowden-fired_n_3421182.html" target="_blank">Snowden was fired</a> from his job at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he had worked as a contract employee. Photo: AP Photo/Kin Cheung
Snowden Speaks With The South China Morning Post
On June 14, Snowden opened up to the <a href="http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1260306/edward-snowden-classified-us-data-shows-hong-kong-hacking-targets" target="_blank">South China Morning Post</a>, claiming he has evidence that the U.S. has been hacking Chinese networks <a href="http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1259508/edward-snowden-us-government-has-been-hacking-hong-kong-and-china" target="_blank">for years</a>. He also expressed a desire to stay in Hong Kong in the interview. “I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the US government in the courts, because I have faith in HK’s rule of law," Snowden said. <em>Photo: AP Photo/Kin Cheung</em>
Officials: Data-Collection Programs Thwarted Terror Plots
On June 15, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/15/nsa-terrorist-surveillance_n_3448090.html" target="_blank">intelligence officials said</a> information from the controversial data-collection programs thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries. <em>Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images</em>
The Guardian Hosts Live Q&A With Snowden
On June 17, The Guardian hosted a <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower?guni=Network%20front:network-front%20main-2%20Special%20trail:Network%20front%20-%20special%20trail:Position1:anchor%20image" target="_blank">live web chat</a> with Snowden, answering readers' questions about the scandal. You can read the Q&A <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower?guni=Network%20front:network-front%20main-2%20Special%20trail:Network%20front%20-%20special%20trail:Position1:anchor%20image" target="_blank">here.</a> <em>Photo: AP Photo/Vincent Yu</em>
Intelligence Officials Defend Programs To Congress
On June 18, the House Intelligence Committee held a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/18/nsa-surveillance-congress_n_3461346.html?utm_hp_ref=edward-snowden" target="_blank">rare public hearing</a> featuring leaders from the office of the director of national intelligence, the NSA, the FBI and the Department of Justice. HuffPost's Michael McAuliff <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/18/nsa-surveillance-congress_n_3461346.html?utm_hp_ref=edward-snowden" target="_blank">reported on the hearing</a>: <blockquote>The remarkable array of spymasters in an open session highlighted how seriously the intelligence officials believe the leaks have hurt U.S. security, but the hearing also raised questions about whether counterterrorism officials were doing all they could to protect Americans' constitutional rights. Officials said over and over that the damage done was significant, calling it "irreversible" and contending that terrorists had absorbed the details about NSA efforts and would now seek to work around them. Most members of the committee seemed to agree that the important damage here was not to citizens' rights, but to their safety.</blockquote> Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Snowden Charged With Espionage
On June 21, the United States filed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/edward-snowden-charged_n_3480984.html" target="_blank">espionage charges</a> against Snowden. Reuters reports Snowden was charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person, according to a criminal complaint dated June 14. <em>Photo: AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File</em>
U.S. Seeks Snowden's Extradition
On June 22, the U.S. went to Hong Kong authorities seeking the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/22/snowden-extradition-hong-kong_n_3483739.html" target="_blank">extradition</a> of Snowden. "Our law enforcement officials are in conversation...with the Hong Kong authorities at this point," outgoing White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon was quoted as saying by CBS. <em>Photo: AP Photo/Kin Cheung</em>
Snowden Leaves Hong Kong, Arrives In Moscow
On June 23, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/23/edward-snowden-hong-kong_n_3486459.html" target="_blank">Snowden left Hong Kong</a> and landed in Moscow, Russia. He was on an Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong that arrived in Moscow, and was reportedly booked on a flight to fly to Cuba the next day. Photo: VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Ecuador Receives Asylum Request From Snowden
On June 23, Ecuador Minister of Foreign Affairs <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/23/edward-snowden-asylum_n_3486988.html" target="_blank">Ricardo Patiño Aroca tweeted</a> that the government of Ecuador had received an asylum request from Edward Snowden. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/23/edward-snowden-asylum_n_3486988.html?1372007103" target="_blank">WikiLeaks released a statement</a> on the request, saying Snowden was "bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks." Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Snowden's Passport Revoked
On June 23, reports said Snowden's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/23/edward-snowden-passport_n_3487156.html?utm_hp_ref=edward-snowden" target="_blank">passport had been revoked</a> by the U.S. The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/23/edward-snowden-passport_n_3487156.html?utm_hp_ref=edward-snowden" target="_blank">AP reported</a>: <blockquote>A U.S. official on Sunday said Edward Snowden's passport was annulled before he left Hong Kong for Russia. Snowden's travel plans could be complicated – but not thwarted – by a lack of passport. The U.S. official said that if a senior official in a country or airline ordered it, a country could overlook the withdrawn passport.</blockquote> <em>Photo: AP Photo/Kin Cheung</em>
Snowden Statement Presses Obama On Asylum Request
On July 1, WikiLeaks released a letter claiming to be from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, in which the Obama Administration is attacked for attempting to block "the right to seek asylum." "Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum," the letter says. Snowden has reportedly made 21 applications for asylum worldwide <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/02/edward-snowden-nsa-asylum-application-list-countries" target="_blank">with little success</a>. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/edward-snowden-wikileaks-statement_n_3530837.html" target="_blank">Click here</a> to read the full text of the letter. <em>Photo: AP Photo/Sergei Grits</em>