Famed whistle blower and thorn in the NSA’s side Edward Snowden has been a polarizing figure since he first arrived in the public eye last year. According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, Snowden’s actions have the approval of the majority of young Americans.
In a recent survey, the majority of Americans between 18 and 49 years old thought that Snowden had served public interests when he revealed the extend of National Security Agency surveillance. Only 35% of persons aged between 18 and 29 disagreed with that statement, along with 40% of those aged between 30 and 49.
Unsurprisingly, the older generation of respondents is less forgiving of Snowden’s actions. An overwhelming 63% of Americans between 50 and 64 years of age believe that a criminal case should be pursued against Snowden. The younger generation is more divided on this topic, with 42% of 18 to 29 believing there shouldn’t be a criminal case, and a further 42% opposing this view.
At present, the US still intends to bring criminal charges against Snowden, who has fled the country to seek political asylum. A number of people from ordinary petitioners to technology industry leaders have come forward to say they believe President Obama should grant Snowden a pardon for his actions.