Polling Data Suggests 56 Percent Of Americans Support Warrantless Surveillance

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Over the past couple of years, and especially since the Snowden revelations, the general public has become more aware of the importance of protecting themselves while enhancing their privacy. You might think, then, that the majority of those folks would be in favor of abolishing warrantless wiretapping of our Internet traffic. However, this is not the case. According to a joint poll between the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, most people believe the opposite.

The results show that 56% of Americans support warrantless wiretapping, while 28% oppose it. From a political angle, 67% of Republicans favor it, while 55% of Democrats do. Meanwhile, Independents are far more divided, with 40% in favor, and 35% opposed.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the under-30 crowd sways more towards opposition. While only one-third of under-30s favored, two-thirds of the above-30s crowd did.

Ultimately, those who favor warrantless wiretapping believe that sometimes, it's necessary, for the sake of our safety. The poll goes on to report that 6 out of every 10 people are somewhat concerned by terrorist attacks, which is a major change from a 2013 poll, where 3 out of every 10 were.

AP Chart

On a different note, 7 out of 10 people say that the government does a somewhat good job protecting their right to vote, and 6 out of 10 think that it's doing a good job of protecting freedom of speech. Meanwhile, only 4 out of 10 think that the government is successful in protecting persons from unreasonable search and seizure, as well as the right to bear arms.

Regardless of these results, the US is at least scaling-back its spying efforts. Whether it's going far enough with that, however, is hard to say.

Tags:  security, Privacy