Think all Americans are against the National Security Agency’s policies regarding spying? Think again, because in a recent survey most Americans actually approve of the NSA’s policy. The survey in question has the public not overwhelmingly supporting the NSA’s actions, but supporting them none the less.
The survey, completed by TechCrunch using Google Surveys, shows that about 51% of the American public thinks that what the NSA is doing is acceptable. Their survey allowed users to comment and those that think the NSA’s actions are okay, have stipulations. Some users thought that NSA actions were okay as long as there was just cause and the evidence they had for the court order allowing them to gain access to the information. It isn’t clear if convincing the secret FISC court fulfills that later stipulation.
The survey goes on to ask the question which is more important privacy or investigating terrorism. To the surprise of many privacy advocates, most that took the survey (roughly 54%) believe that investigating potential terrorists is more important than an American’s privacy. However, these particular approval numbers were at their highest back in November 2010 (about 68%) and are declining with the revelation of the NSA’s actions.
Those surveyed, 57.4%, were even supportive of spying on other nations. Some of these same people don’t want the NSA spying on Americans but other countries are fine. This same group also have a wide number — 53.1% — that believe the NSA has listened into phone calls and read their email.
That, then, brings us to the question: Are the NSA’s actions okay? According to this poll, yes — but this is one just poll and we all know polls don’t always depict the opinion of the public at large. Still, the NSA can rest easy knowing they have the support of at least some people. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.