Majority of Americans feel NSA spying is acceptable, according to survey

nsa spying

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.

[via TechCrunch]

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11 comments

  1. Darcy

    Without knowing the instrument, the methodology and the demographics of the survey group, any survey is about as trustworthy as throwing dart at a dartboard. I would guess close to a 1 to 1 ratio between those who think it acceptable and those who can’t even name the vice-president.

    “As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” – Justice William O. Douglas

  2. Tony

    @Seamus McSeamus
    You are right but the sad thing is they govts are like parasites but with brains they never allow the hosts to die…look at China, North Korea, Vietnam….is there a poor Congressman? any on on Obamacare?

  3. jipy

    American people approve the NSA’s actions because they think they are protected by the omnipotent NSA…
    But are Americans really more protected when these actions are spying and recording European presidents’s phone calls???
    Are Italian, German or French presidents potential terrorists? They have been spied among millions others.

    Even if 57,4% of people surveyed are ” supportive of spying on the other nations “, and even if I’m not in your survey, I have to say here that most European people dœsn’t approve NSA’s actions in Europe, spying millions persons (phones and mails).
    The security, for Americans or other people in the world, isn’t better because of these actions…

    [@Mags]
    You are right and I confirm this is true in all countries.
    And, indeed, especially with political surveys which are often used to manipulate people.

  4. Mags

    I take surveys with a grain of salt!

    Surveys can be manipulated to get the results they want by wording the questions to get the results wanted.

    It happens quite often, especially for political surveys.

  5. Seamus McSeamus

    [@Jack Kennedy] The problem with their mentality is that in order for them to get “free stuff”, the government first has to take it from people who actually produce. Eventually, you take so much from the producers that they can no longer sustain themselves, never mind the leeches on society, and the whole “wealth redistribution” house of cards comes crashing down.

    If we as a nation don’t force a course correction on this bloated, out of control government, I fear that such a crash isn’t too far away.