Majority of Americans Want to See Snowden Trial

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Only a third of Americans now want to see NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden pardoned, with over half supporting the federal government’s attempts to pursue a criminal case against him, according to a new poll.

Market research firm Morning Consult polled over 2000 registered voters across the political spectrum and found support for the former NSA contractor waning.

Some 53% said they support the Obama administration prosecuting Snowden in court, while only 26% opposed such action.

A petition calling for a pardon has accrued over 167,000 virtual signatures since June 2013, but met with a fairly unequivocal response from the White House last month.

“If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and – importantly – accept the consequences of his actions,” said Lisa Monaco, the president’s counterterrorism advisor.

“He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers. Right now, he’s running away from the consequences of his actions.”

If the poll is to be believed, an increasing number of Americans agree. Just 33% agreed with a pardon, while 43% disagreed.

After downloading and leaking to the press a treasure trove of top secret government documents in 2013 – many of which detailed previously unheard of mass surveillance programs – Snowden fled to Hong Kong.

He now lives in Russia under the protection of the Putin regime, although back in March Snowden’s lawyer said he wants to return to the country of his birth – but he’ll only do so if guaranteed a fair trial.

Given the vast quantity of classified documents he has revealed – and the numerous hot-headed accusations from lawmakers of his harming national security – it’s debatable whether that could ever happen.

From an IT perspective his case has been highlighted by commentators as an extreme example of the insider threat.

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