It’s one thing if he leaked info that could aid the enemy, in this case al-Qaeda is fully aware¬†intelligence agencies are trying to spy on their communications, what Snowden did is alert the public to the gross violation of their privacy by the federal government.

(Reuters) – Roughly one in three Americans say the former security contractor who leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance activity is a patriot and should not be prosecuted, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

Some 23 percent of those surveyed said former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a traitor while 31 percent said he is a patriot. Another 46 percent said they did not know.

Snowden, 29, revealed last week that the NSA is monitoring a wide swath of telephone and Internet activity as part of its counterterrorism efforts.

“I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American,” Snowden told the South China Post, an English-language newspaper in Hong Kong, in an interview published on Wednesday.

U.S. authorities have said they are weighing possible criminal charges against Snowden, who was an employee of Virginia-based consultant Booz Allen Hamilton when he leaked documents indicating the NSA’s surveillance of Americans is much broader than had been disclosed publicly.