According to a Pew Research Center/USA Today poll
released Monday, most Americans believer National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden should be prosecuted for releasing classified information.
Fifty-four percent of those polled say the government should pursue a criminal case against Snowden.
Republicans and Democrats were in complete agreement on the issue, with 59 percent from either party believing Snowden should be criminally charged.
Americans were closely divided on the issue of whether or not the release of information regarding the NSA’s gathering of phone records and emails hurts or helps the country.
Forty-four percent said it hurts the public interest, while 49 percent disagree.
The public’s opinion about the NSA surveillance program itself is basically a dead heat.
Forty-eight percent approve while 47 percent disapprove of the “government’s collection of telephone and internet data as part of anti-terrorism efforts.”
However, 53 percent of Americans believe the government’s collection of telephone and internet data has helped prevent terrorist attacks, as opposed to 41 percent who say it has not.
Broken down along party lines, 58 percent of Democrats give a thumb’s up to the government’s data collection efforts, compared with 45 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of independents.
The poll also showed that Democrats are more likely to say the program has helped prevent terrorist attacks than Republicans or independents.
The poll, conducted June 12-16 by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY among 1,512 adults, had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
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