Yet the self-confessed National Security Agency leaker has managed to orchestrate a very different political phenomenon: the biggest bout of anti-Americanism since the Iraq war…

Outside the US, however, the revelations have revived a narrative about the dangers of a world dominated by an untrustworthy superpower that had been dormant as debate raged instead about American decline. Already criticised for its extensive use of drones, the international image of the administration has taken another heavy hit by the documents about extensive US surveillance…

For some governments, Snowden has provided an opportunity to shift public debate from domestic problems. French president François Hollande, whose popularity has slumped, denounced the US snooping as “unacceptable”, while the Brazil revelations came as the government was reeling from the biggest popular protests in two decades.

“It has given Brazil’s government a great opportunity to change the conversation,” says Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center, a Washington think-tank.