NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Has a Higher Approval Rating Than Congress


The Guardian

Polls conducted in the days since Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian pulled back the curtain on the NSA's surveillance program have found that a majority of Americans are fine with said program so long as it targets suspected terrorists, but are less fine with being targeted themselves; and that they're skeptical of the claim that leaking information about the NSA's spying program will jeopardize the government's ability to keep America safe.

But how do they feel about the act of leaking? "Fifty-four percent of respondents said the leaker, Edward Snowden, 29, did a 'good thing' in releasing information about the government programs," Zeke Miller writes of a new poll from TIME. "Just 30 percent disagreed."

That means more American approve of Snowden than approve of Congress. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) should keep that in mind as she calls for Snowden to be prosecuted.

NEXT: Number of Children Killed in Afghanistan Has Jumped

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Reason needs to stop talking about Snowden. Talking about him and defending him just allows the defenders of these programs to change the subject. Who cares about this guy? He is no longer important in the grand scheme of things. What matters is the information he leaked. Quit trying to make this guy a hero. Is that the debate Reason wants to have? How good of a guy Snowden is or is not?

    1. Probably good advice considering how frequently these guys turn out to have less than perfect private lives and habits. Which isn’t to say anything except that tying a cause to a person means it’s easier to bring down the cause.

      1. What just happened? John and Tony just made consecutive good points and pretty much agreed with each other.

        Can anyone assist me here? Did they not make good points and agree with each other? It’s been a long day here so maybe I’m not reading clearly.

        /assholery…seriously it’s been a long day. Sorry, John. Tony, fuck off slaver.

        1. *Judge looking at the evidence . . .*

          *Judge looks at the evidence again . . .*

          *And again . . .*

          *Head Explodes*

          I believe we have synergy!

        2. Sadly, in this case both John and Tony are wrong.

          Many columnists/analysts/policy wonks think, for some ridiculous reason, that now that we’ve had this helpful Snowden chap bring up the privacy issue, his work is done. That is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

          There have been stories about the erosion and even elimination of privacy since the 1990s. But the conversation has never caught on with the general public. In general, the public has shown that it is unable to latch on to important issues of government policy unless you “put a face on it.” You have to envision the public as a child who is both mentally retarded and afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder.

          The dime-store psychoanalysts such David Brooks and Jeffrey Toobin have speculated that Snowden is vastly narcissistic. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. But, for better or worse, he is the “face” of this complex and occasionally dry issue. Pretending he doesn’t exist would be foolish and counterproductive.

      2. And it is especially important when you consider that leftists generally have low IQs and poor reasoning skills and thus don’t understand the ad hominem fallacy.

      3. Whoa…I actually agree with both John and Tony. That said, the Snowden guy’s a hero

  2. Congress should encourage Snowden to run for office so they can bump their approval rating. Which state is the guy from?

    1. Congress should call for *themselves* to be prosecuted so they can bump their approval rating.

  3. Getting stabbed in the knee has a higher approval rating than Congress.

    1. Taking an arrow to the knee is no fun, either.

      Bury my Wounded Knee in the Heart of San Francisco….or something….

      *gambols across field and plain*

      1. I’m going to need to see your gamboling license.

  4. Here’s an interesting twist on the NSA collecting all this data.

    Defense attorney demands NSA turn over cell phone location data that could exonerate his client.

    1. That really is. That is Brady evidence. The government has a duty to turn it over. Moreover, “government” in that context means the entire government, not just the state prosecuting.

      The argument makes perfect sense. If the government has cell phone records that will show that someone was making a call on my cell phone at the time of the crime in a location away from the crime, that is potentially exculpatory evidence and has to be turned over.

      1. It doesn’t prove anything but that the guys cell phone wasn’t near the crime. I’ve been wondering how long before crooks would try this. “But my cell phone records show I was at home at the time”. No, they show your cell phone was at home, it says nothing about you.

        1. Doesn’t have to “prove anything” to be Brady evidence. It only has to be potentially exculpatory.

          1. Try telling that to a prosecutor.

            “This piece of evidence didn’t immediately compel me to drop the case and beg forgiveness from the defendant, so it’s not exculpatory. ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY, BITCHES.”

            1. That is starting to change a bit. Prosecutors in Texas have gasp been disbarred for such behavior. And appellate courts take a dim view of such.

            2. Motion to dismiss, gg? What is your fear here?

        2. I know that if I ever plan to do something so criminal that the cops might actually care, I’ll be leaving the phone at home and not passing through any toll booths.

          1. I’m borrowing your phone and hitting EVERY toll booth.

        3. It doesn’t prove anything but that the guys cell phone wasn’t near the crime.

          Well, if that phone was used to call his wife or his mother or whoever you would normally expect the holder of that phone to be calling, then yes, it is evidence that points to the fact that he wasn’t there.

          1. It can’t be a fact if there’s no way to tell if he was the one on the phone.

            1. You’re kind of fuzzy on the concept of an alibi, aren’t you? If they did get the info and found out who he was calling, they ask that person who they were talking to. If they can corroborate the story that they were talking to Brown, that’s an alibi.

              It’s the same as if he had said he was sitting on his buddy’s couch at the time. Ask the friend some questions, if it holds up, the guy was there.

              1. @itsnotmeitsyou

                Then there’s no reason for the phone. He could just say “I was on the phone with so and so, you can ask him”.

            2. It isn’t a “fact”, it’s evidence that has ANY tendency to make a fact more or less probable. People have a truly bizarre, black-and-white belief about these things.

              1. Ice Trey is tho only one that thinks it would be “fact” here. Alibis are not fact, but they do go a long way towards reasonable doubt.

    2. I agree it’s very interesting but I am skeptical that pointing out the potential for the total surveillance state to exonerate the innocent is a good thing. This question should be about principles, not outcomes. The utilitarian arguments are out in force in favor of this thing already. Fuck utilitarianism.

      1. It doesn’t justify it. And I am under no illusion of this claim working even though it should. It just shows what hypocrites the government is.

      2. I wasn’t trying to say it was a good thing. Sorry for being so vague.

        No, I don’t think this type of surveillance is a good thing in ANY circumstance. Besides, it’s not like they would actually give him anything of the sort. Even if they did have legal standing to demand this info from the NSA, they’re not going to let the defense rifle through their database to look for the records. They’ll simply tell them “we have no records of Mr. Brown’s phone location data for that time”

        Also, the metadata only has the location of the phone while it is in a call, not at all times. So if he wasn’t on a call when the crime took place, there wouldn’t be a record of it anyways.

        1. They absolutely should go after this evidence now that they know it exists. My concern, as you understand, is that some will warp this into an argument that the government’s ubiquitous surveillance is in total a good thing.

  5. The problem is that this all came out in 2006. Even Biden knew.


    1. But it was different when Bush was doing it. God that is funny.

      1. Actually it was. More executive fiat, fewer congressional and judicial checks.

        1. Tony, everyone! Tony No Spaces – ladies and gnetlemen, here he is!

          also – [citation needed]

        2. Fuck off you lying troll.

        3. Privacy is somehow less violated if both parties are in on it?

          What Biden said there is directly applicable to the case today, oversight or non.

          1. Except for the part where he specifically talks about a lack of oversight and too much power in the executive.

            1. Except for the part where he specifically talks about a lack of oversight and too much power in the executive.

              Except for the part where that’s still true today.

              1. Yes, but my claim was that it is different than under Bush, which is also true.

                1. It’s only different because then it was a guy you don’t like.

            2. Tony| 6.13.13 @ 3:55PM |#
              “Except for the part where he specifically talks about a lack of oversight and too much power in the executive.”

              Yeah, shithead, congress has just been rippin’ the power right out of Obozo’s hands, right?

          2. No ones privacy was violated then or now. The records belong to the phone company not you.

            1. But that isn’t what *Biden* said then, which was my point.

            2. So, it’s OK with the government if the phone company destroys its own records?

              1. Unless there’s a law against it.

        4. If we are talking about the NSA archiving phone records then it’s exactly the same. Bush didn’t sign any subpoena for the records. That would have been a judge.

        5. Tony, you need to take your comedy routine on the road.

        6. “Actually it was. More executive fiat, fewer congressional and judicial checks.”

          Please cite one congressional or judicial check that is in place now and wasn’t in the previous administration. Go ahead. Everyone is waiting.

          I’ll go ahead and save us all an eternity. This string of statements from you is absolutely why you are an intellectually dishonest sheep that regurgitates whatever your talking heads tell you to believe. I’m pretty sure that anyone who wants to discredit you in any discussion from now on can just link to this. Case closed!

  6. Hopefully this popularity and approval will go some way towards protecting him from when the government decides how it wants to retaliate. Because it will.

  7. I approve of his taste in womenz.


    1. Flipper Girl is no Lobster Girl, but she’s no hard on the eys.

      I said “hard on”….huh huh, huh huh, huh huh….

      1. Way too skinny for John.

        1. Well, yeah – Roseanne Barr is “too skinny for John”

          1. Obligatory John pron!

        2. Almost too skinny. But she looks like she is in very good shape, which I like.

  8. “Liberty is very important to us and privacy is essential to liberty.”

    Are you serious?

  9. Anything except Congress has a higher approval rating than Congress.

  10. Not much of a feat. I’ll bet my asshole has a higher approval rating than Congress.

  11. “NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Has a Higher Approval Rating Than Congress”

    So do termites and assorted other vermin.

    1. Congress

      assorted other vermin

      Aren’t these the same thing, or am I being unfair to vermin?

  12. before I looked at the receipt 4 $9564, I accept …that…my brothers friend woz like trully taking home money parttime on their laptop.. there great aunt had bean doing this 4 only twentey months and as of now paid the morgage on there house and bourt a gorgeous opel. I went here, Go to site and open Home for details

  13. everyone are intered in jerseys can feel free to
    http://mallsjersey.blogspot.com/ to us or go to our shop
    http://modernjerseys.org/ to know about jerseys details.
    1,nfl nike jerseys 1=22$,5=21$
    2,nhl jerseys 1=33.79$,5=32.9$
    3,mlb jerseys 1=17.3$/pcs,5=16.5$
    4,nba jerseys 1=19$,5=18.5$
    5,ncaa jerseys 1=17.3$,5=16.5$
    6,soccer jerseys 21$/pcs
    and other items price here.

  14. Why is Reason referring to him as a leaker?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.