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Most Americans say Snowden is Whistleblower, Not Traitor

A television screen shows former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden during a news bulletin at a cafe at the Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, Russia, June 26, 2013.
A new public-opinion poll reveals a majority of Americans believe former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a whistleblower, rather than a traitor.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found 55 percent of poll participants identified Snowden as a whistleblower, while 34 percent said he was a traitor.

Americans were split on whether the government's counter-terrorism efforts went too far in restricting civil liberties as part of its war on terrorism. Forty-five percent of those polled said the government had gone too far; 40 percent said the government had not gone far enough.

The vote was a reversal from a a January 2010 Quinnipiac survey, when nearly two-thirds of voters said the government's activities did not go far enough to adequately protect the country.

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter Brown said the "massive swing" shows the public's "apparent shock at the extent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents."