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YOUR THREE CENTS: Question of the day

Is the man who blew the whistle on the U.S. government's secret surveillance program a hero or a villain?


For years, top officials of the Bush and Obama administrations dismissed fears about secret government data-mining by reassuring Congress that there were no secret nets trawling for Americans' phone and internet records.
               
On Friday, President Barack Obama himself acknowledged the existence of such programs, saying the data gathered could potentially lead investigators to terrorists.
               
The President's comments marked the first time a U.S. president publicly acknowledged the government's electronic sleuthing on U.S. citizens.
               
They came in response to media revelations and published classified documents that detailed the government's secret mass collection of phone and internet communications.
               
The man who leaked that information to the media is now on the run.
"The Guardian" identified Edward Snowden as a source for its reports.
               
Snowden is a former CIA employee who most recently worked for the computer consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton -- which was working with the National Security Agency.
               
He says he leaked the info to end what he sees as an excessively intrusive surveillance system.
               
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