Local opinion mixed on Edward Snowden

Copyright 2013 Associated Press

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Wednesday night, right here on 22News, Brian Willaims will sit down with the man accused of pulling off the biggest intelligence theft in U.S. History.

He’s the man accused of leaking millions of documents that uncovered a government surveillance program. Edward Snowden is his name. He’s a former employee of the CIA and is now the man at the center of governmental condemnation.

He’s hidden away in Russia, where he was granted asylum. He’s charged with espionage. In cities and towns across America, people have come up with their own controversial opinion about Edward Snowden.

He’s been labeled everything from a patriot and an American hero to a whistle-blower and a traitor.

Patti McGuinness, Florence said, “I’m just happy that he exposed what he exposed so the people of the United States can be aware of what our government is doing. If he didn’t that I wouldn’t know or be as careful about my own privacy.”

Snowden’s leak of classified documents in 2013 blew the cover off the National Security Agency’s surveillance program. It sparked a national debate on privacy vs. national security.

Rachel Rose of Pittsfield told 22News, “It was wrong of him to come out with that information. But I’m glad that it came out, because as a people we should probably know that something like that is going on.”

But others have a very different opinion.

Jennifer Miller of Essex, CT told 22News, “I think he’s an idiot. I think he went back on the vows that he made. I don’t respect anyone who does that. I think there are different ways to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish. If he felt that strongly about it, he should have sought those other methods.”

In Wednesday’s interview with Brian Williams, Snowden claims he was trained as a spy, and is not the low level hacker the Government is claiming him to be.

You’ll see Brain Williams’ full interview with Edward Snowden at 10:00 Wednesday night right before 22News at 11.

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