Pew – Majority Views NSA Phone Tracking as Acceptable Anti-terror Tactic

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 11, 2013

Public Says Investigate Terrorism, Even If It Intrudes on Privacy: “A majority of Americans – 56% – say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism, though a substantial minority – 41% – say it is unacceptable. And while the public is more evenly divided over the government’s monitoring of email and other online activities to prevent possible terrorism, these views are largely unchanged since 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, conducted June 6-9 among 1,004 adults, finds no indications that last week’s revelations of the government’s collection of phone records and internet data have altered fundamental public views about the tradeoff between investigating possible terrorism and protecting personal privacy…The public is divided over the government’s monitoring of internet activity in order to prevent possible terrorism: 45% say the government should be able to “monitor everyone’s email and other online activities if officials say this might prevent future terrorist attacks.” About as many (52%) say the government should not able to do this.”

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