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A Year Later, Most Americans Think Snowden Did The Right Thing

On anniversary of whistleblowing, 55 percent of Americans say Snowden was right to expose NSA's surveillance program; 82 percent believe they are still being watched.

A year ago this week, contractor Edward Snowden published documents exposing the National Security Agency's PRISM program, which included online surveillance of US citizens. Was he justified in doing so? More than half of Americans believe he was.

According to a survey scheduled to be published this week by research firm YouGov and commissioned by security firm Tresorit, 55 percent of employed Americans believe Snowden was right to expose PRISM. Eighty-two percent believe their personal information is still being analyzed by the US government, and 81 percent believe their personal information is being analyzed by corporations for business purposes.

Nearly one in two employed Americans name constitutional rights as the reason for their support of Snowden’s exposure of PRISM: 44 percent of employed Americans cite their civil rights as key reasons that they support Snowden’s cause. Snowden supporters tend to be younger: Just 20 percent of young adults aged 16-34 believe Snowden’s actions were wrong, compared to 41 percent of adults aged 55 or older.

More than half of those surveyed (51 percent) don’t know if their employers have taken measures to ensure that corporate files are secure. Only 32 percent of respondents report that their employer has taken such steps.

Thirty-seven percent of employed Americans say they have not taken any steps in the last year to ensure personal digital security, according to the survey. Forty percent of employed Americans say they have created stronger passwords, while one in four (26%) have created different passwords for different online accounts.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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pdegenkolb941
50%
50%
pdegenkolb941,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/29/2014 | 11:53:32 AM
Snowden is a traitor
Talking Fourth Amendment is not relevant, as the information the NSA is gathering is (to a significant degree) already open.  The metadata on phone calls is already stored by the phone companies, and what the NSA collects is nothing compared to what Google (and many other private companies) collect and sell. (Only the NSA does not sell the data.)  Snowden lied to get his position, then with intent, stole classified and or sensitive information and then released it to a (many) foreign governments.  There is nothing good or proper or enlightened about what he did.


The problem with the NSA spying is not the agency, or the processes they use, it is the elected officials that misuse the information.  For the actions of the elected officials, we have only ourselves to blame.
Andre Leonard
0%
100%
Andre Leonard,
User Rank: Strategist
5/29/2014 | 11:34:11 AM
Re: Definitely the right thing!
Outstanding observation, summary and analysis. In the end, someone has to monitor the government for abuses. They cannot be left to monitor themselves. That's how we got into this mess.

 

 
Robert McDougal
100%
0%
Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
5/29/2014 | 10:26:39 AM
Definitely the right thing!
In my opinion, his actions were undoubtedly the right thing to do.  My reasoning is that the United States government was and continues to violate the 4th amendment of the constitution.  In essence, our government is willfully violating the law of the land.

The 4th amendment protects American citizens from unlawful search and seizure and sets forth the requirement of a judicial warrant issued based on probable cause.  Further case law (Katz v. United States) expanded the 4th amendment to protect citizens who "exhibit an actual expectation of privacy".  For example when I place a call to my friend I am exhibiting an expectation of privacy between my friend and myself.  Consequently, if I send an email to my friend, I should be exhibiting the same expectation of privacy, therefore any search and seizure of said email is in violation of the 4th amendment.

In my mind, the issue is as simple as that.  The US government is willfully violating a key civil right set forth in the constitution and we the citizens deserved to be made aware of that fact.
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