June 17th, 2013
12:09 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN Poll: Majority give Snowden thumbs down

Washington (CNN) - A majority of Americans don't approve of the actions of the man who leaked classified documents on U.S. surveillance programs, and they think he should be brought to justice, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning indicates that 52% of the public disapproves of Edward Snowden's actions, with 44% saying they approve of the leaks by the former government contractor who worked for the National Security Agency.

Documents Snowden provided to journalists revealed the existence of the secret NSA programs to collect records of domestic telephone calls in the United States and the internet activity of overseas residents. Snowden, who fled to Hong Kong, was fired from his position a week ago at the Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm. The FBI is investigating the leaks. Snowden, 29, went public a week ago as the source of articles by the two newspapers, saying the NSA's efforts pose "an existential threat to democracy."

Fifty-four percent of those questioned in the poll, which was conducted Tuesday through Thursday, say the government should attempt to bring Snowden back to the U.S. and prosecute him for his leaks.

Snowden claims online Obama expanded "abusive" security programs

The survey indicates a slight generational divide over whether Snowden should face legal action.

"Younger Americans are less likely than older Americans to call for the U.S. government to prosecute Snowden," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "More than half of Americans over the age of 34 think Snowden should be extradited and prosecuted, but younger Americans are evenly divided. There are no major age differences on the question of whether Americans approve of Snowden's actions, so it seems that there is a generation gap on punishment, but not on the leaks themselves."

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International June 11-13, with 1,014 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Details on NSA-thwarted plots coming, lawmaker says


Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • NSA
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Any way you slice it, he's a TRAITOR!

    June 17, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. just sayin

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    Any way you slice it, he's a TRAITOR!
    -–

    be honest please. if he did this when bush was in office you'd be calling him a hero. you don't like the damage he has done to your faux president.

    June 17, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. it must be said

    CNN Poll: Majority give Snowden thumbs down
    -–

    52% to 44%.... more accurately stated, a slight majority, or a weak majority give him a thumbs down. He still has some pretty decent support at 44%.

    June 17, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Sandy

    Yes, Dutch, traitor he is.

    June 17, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Pam from Iowa

    dont know who you polled, but I think he is a hero!

    June 17, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    be honest please. if he did this when bush was in office you'd be calling him a hero. you don't like the damage he has done to your faux president.
    ------------------------------------------------
    Bush wiretapped us WITHOUT a warrant. Shouldn't you be outraged regardless of who the President is?

    June 17, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Snowden, Bradley. Both traitors.

    June 17, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Steveo

    @just sayin

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    Any way you slice it, he's a TRAITOR!
    -–

    be honest please. if he did this when bush was in office you'd be calling him a hero. you don't like the damage he has done to your faux president.
    -----------–
    Sorry but the damage was not done to anybody's "faux president". The damage was done to OUR country. OBTW, I lean right but I am more interested in issues than playing " blindly follow the party leader". So in short, you are wrong!

    June 17, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Thomas

    A hero , a traitor ?

    More will be revealed !

    June 17, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Ron L

    He is neither a hero or a traitor. But he is guilty of breaking the law and don't any of you find it EXTREMELY interesting that he went to CHINA to complain about the government over reaching? This once again is nothing REALLY NEW. It began with the Patriot Act and has been going on ever since. We still need to get the Congress focused on the BUDGET, NEW INFRASTRUCTURE projects, lower INTEREST RATES on college loans; INCREASING the MINMUM wage at least $1.00 and hour...These are the REALLY IMPORTANT issues that need equal if not more attention than this!!

    June 17, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. jinx9to88

    He being Ron and Rand Paul backer says it all!!! No matter what the bloggers say on this post this man is snitch and a traitor to this country. You dont flee to another country then start running your mouth. If his was a man he would stay here and stand up for what he believes, but yet this coward runs. Pathetic!!!

    June 17, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. MaryM

    Snowden is traitor and everyone knows it.

    June 17, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. saywhat

    Majority of Americans are concerned for their civil liberties & privacy. If he broke the law then he should stand fair trial under due process of law.
    Even then the Americans have a right to know & voice their concern over NSA surveillance and infringement on our fundamental rights.

    June 17, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. jinx9to88

    44% support sounds about right. Thats about the same percent of Americans that cant stand Obama no matter what.

    June 17, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    just sayin wrote:

    be honest please. if he did this when bush was in office you'd be calling him a hero. you don't like the damage he has done to your faux president.
    -------------------
    Back in 2006, the outrage was over the fact that the Bush administration used to info to initiate warrantless wiretaps. The wiretaps were the scandal, not the database. The majority of Americans polled not only accepted the database, but they found the warrantless wiretaps to be acceptable, too. Gallup, Feb 24, 2006.

    June 17, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    He needs to be arrested and tried. But I don't think that will happen... there's way too much "stuff" that would be said during the trial. He'll probably be the victim of an "unfortunate accident".

    June 17, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. ok

    Bush wiretapped us WITHOUT a warrant. Shouldn't you be outraged regardless of who the President is?

    --

    You forgot the cardinal rule: IOKIYAR

    June 17, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "be honest please. if he did this when bush was in office you'd be calling him a hero. you don't like the damage he has done to your faux president."

    Yawn. We're outraged by these programs, which started under Bush, were authorized by legislation pushed, authored and demanded by the GOP, who voted en masse to pass it, etc. (the "nay" votes were almost exclusively Dems). That doesn't mean we can't also be outraged at a traitor who leaked national security secrets....you know, the way we were outraged at Bush and Cheney for outing a CIA agent as political revenge on her husband for his role in helping point out that there were no WMDs in Iraq.

    June 17, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Peace

    Who in the right mind can show a thumb up to such a retarded person like Snowden!

    June 17, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Tabeth

    What are the regulations and guilines of a CIA?
    Will one reveal the strategic code of our security defense system to save lifes
    and at the sme time endanger armerica? Wy should one hide knowing to have done the right thing?
    Do we have brain to think properly?

    June 17, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. just sayin

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    be honest please. if he did this when bush was in office you'd be calling him a hero. you don't like the damage he has done to your faux president.
    ----------------
    Bush wiretapped us WITHOUT a warrant. Shouldn't you be outraged regardless of who the President is?
    --

    i thought this story was about a massive government intrusion on the privacy of american citizens under the obama adminstration??? this is 2013 right??? obama has been president for nearly 5 years right??? what does bush have to do with the happens of the obama adminstration. isn't obama calling the shots?

    June 17, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. rick7809

    So 44% of those polled approve of Snowden's breaking the law and possible treason. It just shows how much this country is screwed up.

    June 17, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. John

    not surprised, considering the Majority of American are all Brainwashed Sheeple!

    June 17, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Caumont

    Most people agree with Cheney and Obama he is a traitor. Funny enough.

    June 17, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Sorry people but this is one issue that Transcends party lines. They both do it obviously

    June 17, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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