CNN Poll: Majority give Snowden thumbs down
Most think Snowden should be brought to justice
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 percent of the public disapproves of Edward Snowden's actions, with 44 percent 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.
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 3 percentage points.
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