Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden about two alleged sex crimes. Assange sought asylum in Ecuador after losing a legal fight against extradition to Sweden, which he believes is part of a U.S. plot to imprison him for publishing secret documents.
Snowden's massive leak exposed an acceleration of domestic surveillance under President Barack Obama's leadership and embarrassed the president, who once claimed to preside over the most transparent U.S. administration in history.
Chinese pro-free speech dissident Ai Weiwei compared U.S. Internet surveillance to China's Web policies in a Tuesday editorial in the Guardian. "[O]fficials always think what they do is necessary, and firmly believe they do what is best for the state and the people," he wrote. "But, as I know, such abuse of power can ruin lives."
Congressional reaction to the leak has been mixed. One of the authors of the Patriot Act cited as justification for the secret programs, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told U.S. News the PRISM Internet program violates the Fourth Amendment. House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., however, accused Snowden of treason.