What do Americans think about NSA spying?


Source: Huffington Post

Different public opinion polls show widely different results on what Americans think about National Security Administration surveillance.   I think the difference is explained partly on how the questions were worded, and partly on when the questions were asked.

If you asked me whether I think the NSA should spy on suspected terrorists, I would answer, yes, of course, if they have good reason to think somebody might be a terrorist, they should put the person under surveillance.  That is a different thing from having the NSA gather up phone records of all Americans, or on having Homeland Security agencies spy on Americans who are exercising their constitutional right peaceably to assemble or to petition the government for redress of grievances.

My reaction to Edward Snowden’s report on the NSA PRISM program was immediate and negative because of my pre-existing belief that the Obama administration is not acting in good faith.  If I had not been following the question, I would have been much slower to make up my mind.

I’m glad there still are many Americans who value the right of privacy, and who have not been stampeded into giving up this basic right.

Click on Majority Views Phone Tracking as Acceptable Anti-Terror Tactic for Pew Research’s summary of its polling.

Click on Americans Disapprove of Government Surveillance Programs for Gallup’s summary of its polling.

Click on Actually, Americans aren’t shrugging off NSA surveillance for a report from the Christian Science Monitor.

Click on Pentagon preparing for a coming insurrection for the larger pattern of which NSA surveillance is a part.

Click on Government Surveillance of Occupy Movement for a report on how the government abuses its powers.

Click on PRISM Is Just the Start of NSA Spying for an Associated Press report on the extent of government surveillance.

Click on 17 Agencies of the US Intelligence Community for Business Insider’s list of U.S. intelligence-gathering agencies and their missions.

Click on The Top 5 Temptations the Surveillance State Can’t Resist for an essay by Tom Englehardt on why abuse of power is inevitable.

Hat tip to Mike Connelly.

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2 Responses to “What do Americans think about NSA spying?”

  1. SR Says:

    Reblogged this on Neybin's Sancturary and commented:
    I have to believe that people cannot be OK with others spying on them just because they can. I have nothing to hide but I also love my privacy. If you have a question ask me and if I think you need to know then I will tell you. Now, here are some quotes from George Washington that pretty much predicts what we are dealing with today.

    The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.
    George Washington

    The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.
    George Washington

    Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
    George Washington


  2. You’ve Heard that the Government and Big Corporations Are Spying. But Do You Have ANY IDEA How Widespread the Spying Really Is? — State of Globe Says:

    […] What do Americans think about NSA spying? […]


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