SAN FRANCISCO — A jolt of pride and panic flashed through the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) when the first images of Edward Snowden appeared, showing a sandy-haired young man with glasses, a budding goatee and a bright red sticker on his laptop computer proclaiming, ‘‘I Support Online Rights.’’
The sticker was part of the membership kit for EFF, a leading opponent of government surveillance, but one used to operating beyond the spotlight. Some of its leaders feared Snowden’s public embrace would thrust it to the middle of a blazing Washington scandal just as the government was looking for someone to blame.
‘‘My first thought was: This is attention we don’t need,’’ said John Gilmore, a tech millionaire who helped found EFF. But those fears have eased. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.