"Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs," the petition says.
The petition has until July 9 to reach 100,000 signatures, the number needed to be addressed by the Obama administration.
However, many in Congress are calling him everything but a hero.
"I think he's a defector or traitor - take your pick," said Rep. Peter King, R-NY, according to CNN. "What he's done is incredible damage to our country; it's going to put American lives at risk. I don't know how he can live with himself. A traitor is as good a term as any. I think he violated the Espionage Act."
Snowden was working at the Hawaii office of Booz Allen Hamilton, a private intelligence contractor that works for the National Security Administration, where he obtained top secret government material and released it to the news publication The Guardian.
The story broke on June 5, causing a major uproar in what many have described as the biggest intelligence leak in American history.
"I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," Snowden said to The Guardian.
President Obama has defended the government surveillance program, saying the specific targets are not American citizens, but foreign nationals, and believes that specific "safeguards" put in place in the surveillance help his administration fight terrorism.
Snowden was last seen in a hotel in Hong Kong on Monday. The federal authorities are looking for him and his computer to investigate what other information he has obtained.
According to the Associated Press, Russia's Kommersant Daily reported that Moscow said it may provide asylum for Snowden. Other countries that Snowden might attempt to escape to include: China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, North Korea or Iceland - none of which have extradition agreements with the United States.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit with the Obama administration Tuesday, "asking the government to halt phone-tracking programs that collects the telephone records of millions of Americans," calling it "unconstitutional" and cites the heads of the NSA, FBI, the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice as violators of the First and Fourth Amendment, according to the Associated Press.
A Philadelphia couple has also filed a lawsuit, alleging the government singled them out for their criticism of the U.S. Army following the death of their son who was a Navy SEAL. They are claiming $3 billion in damages
Snowden's massive top-secret information leak comes at the same time as Army Pfc. Bradley Manning faces court martial in his information sharing to the website Wikileaks in 2010.
Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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Sunday, March 9 2014 2:51 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:51:21 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Corey Walden celebrated by draping a net around his neck and hanging a piece of string over each ear. Senior guard Glenn Cosey had a quick quip for Jeff Neubauer as the EasternMore >>
Belmont (24-9) failed to add its second consecutive tournament title to its regular-season championship and will miss the NCAA tournament for just the third time in the past nine years and first since 2010More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:53 PM EST2014-03-09 03:53:18 GMT
The past met the present tonight at the Soulshine Pizza Factory in Nashville, as the restaurant celebrated its one year anniversary. The Mando Blues Radio Show helped them celebrate with 16 acts thatMore >>
The past met the present tonight at the Soulshine Pizza Factory in Nashville, as the restaurant celebrated its one year anniversary. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:31 PM EST2014-03-09 03:31:47 GMT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Antonio Barton scored 16 points and Jarnell Stokes had a double-double Saturday as Tennessee trounced Missouri 72-45 to win its fourth straight game and boost its NCAA tournament hopes. TennesseeMore >>
Tennessee (20-11, 11-7 SEC) hasn't trailed at any point during its winning streak. Its last three games have been decided by an average margin of 31 pointsMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:29 PM EST2014-03-09 03:29:18 GMT
DULUTH, Ga. -- Tennessee dominated play around the basket the way its fans dominated the stands. The result was another trip to the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game. Isabelle HarrisonMore >>
Isabelle Harrison had 20 points and 13 rebounds and No. 6 Tennessee held off No. 15 Texas A&M 86-77 on Saturday in the SEC tournament semifinals. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:15 PM EST2014-03-09 03:15:25 GMT
The Clarksville/Montgomery County School System is $200,000 richer today, all from selling coupon books. This is the second year the school system has partnered with City Saver to sell the coupon books.More >>
The Clarksville/Montgomery County School System is $200,000 richer today, all from selling coupon books. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:46 PM EST2014-03-09 01:46:01 GMT
We've learned some disturbing new details surrounding the death of an infant in Clarksville, at the hands of her own mother. According to an arrest warrant obtained by our partners at the Leaf Chronicle,More >>
We've learned some disturbing new details surrounding the death of an infant in Clarksville, at the hands of her own mother. According to an arrest warrant obtained by our partners at the Leaf Chronicle, Stefany Johnson told police, "Jesus came down and took Astrid to heaven." More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 6:50 PM EST2014-03-08 23:50:51 GMT
A woman was sent to the hospital in Madison Saturday afternoon after a house fire. The fire started a little after 2 p.m. at a home on Anderson Lane. Nashville firefighters saw a lot of smoke whenMore >>
A woman was sent to the hospital in Madison Saturday afternoon after a house fire.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 6:47 PM EST2014-03-08 23:47:44 GMT
A section of I-24 had to be shut down Sunday afternoon because of a propane leak. According to our partners at the Leaf Chronicle, the leak was coming from two rusty propane bottles inside a vehicle.More >>
A section of I-24 had to be shut down Sunday afternoon because of a propane leak. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 6:40 PM EST2014-03-08 23:40:07 GMT
Junior ROTC units from high schools all over Middle Tennessee were at Bridgestone Arena today, competing to be the best. Units from all different branches of the military had a friendly drill competition,More >>
Junior ROTC units from high schools all over Middle Tennessee were at Bridgestone Arena today, competing to be the best. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 6:31 PM EST2014-03-08 23:31:32 GMT
Memphis Police have issued an arrest warrant for the man they believe was behind a mall shooting Thursday night. Investigators believe Otis Reddido pulled out a gun and shot another man in the stomachMore >>
Memphis Police have issued an arrest warrant for the man they believe was behind a mall shooting Thursday night. More >>