Pew poll: 56% support NSA tracking phone calls to hunt for terrorists, near-majority support tracking e-mails

posted at 7:21 pm on June 10, 2013 by Allahpundit

I tweeted the link to this WaPo story and was surprised by how many people seemed surprised by, or even in outright denial about, the results. This has always been a 50/50 issue, more or less; if it wasn’t, The One wouldn’t have dared to trade his Hopenchange cred for PRISM. The only numbers that really move much in the data from year to year aren’t the topline results but the partisan splits, which predictably shift — a lot, as you’ll see below — depending upon which party is at the controls of NSA.

p

A caveat: In 2006 the question referred to the feds listening in on calls “without court approval” while in 2013 it mentioned that calls were tracked via “secret court orders.” Court oversight may account for the five-point overall bump in favor, or maybe the more ambiguous phrasing about tracking calls versus listening to them accounts for it. Either way, gaze upon those partisan swings — more than 20 points each for the GOP, a majority of whom at least remain consistent in supporting the program regardless of the president’s party, and for the fraudulent Democrats, who’ve gone from -24 net disapproval under Bush to +30(!) under Obama. That’s over 60 percent against to 60 percent in favor in seven years. Amazing, but not surprising.

I don’t think those numbers will revert fully to 2006 levels if a Republican takes the White House in three years, but they’ll revert to a substantial degree. Figure maybe 65 or 70 percent support among GOPers and 40 or 45 percent support among Dems. It’s a simple question of whether you trust the current commander-in-chief to exercise his surveillance powers responsibly, and that question is answered by partisan affiliation. It shouldn’t work that way — Obama built on Bush’s precedents and the next president will build on Obama’s — but it’s a fact of political life. The same holds true when you adapt this question to ask whether the feds should have power to “monitor” e-mails in the name of preventing terror attacks. Seven years ago, 53 percent of Republicans said yes versus just 41 percent of Democrats. Today, just 45 percent of Republicans agree but 53 percent of Democrats do. The topline number, 45 percent support overall, remained constant but only because a critical 10-15 percent or so on each side flipped and offset each other.

Also interesting is that support for data-mining of phone records and monitoring of e-mails doesn’t vary dramatically among age groups according to Pew, which makes this poll unusual given that young adults tend to be more liberal on most issues. When asked whether the government should prioritize counterterrorism or privacy, 51 percent of the 18-29 group say the former versus just 45 percent who say the latter. (That was the closest margin among the four age groups.) When asked specifically about tracking phone records, young adults are right in line with other age groups at 55 percent support. When asked about e-mails, they’re at 46 percent support — higher than the 30-49 group or the 50-64 group. If you’re expecting the surveillance state to relax as millennials take power, think again.

Like I say, I’m surprised anyone is surprised. What’s truly noteworthy about this poll, I think, is how many people felt comfortable telling a pollster that they support surveillance of phone records and e-mails. I figured every poll on this subject would be more in line with Rasmussen’s result this morning, in which 59 percent of likely voters said they oppose government collecting phone records. That’s the answer many people will sense they’re “supposed” to give when a stranger’s pressing them on their tolerance of governmental invasions of privacy. And yet here’s Pew finding 56 percent willing to tell them okay on phone records and 45 percent on e-mails. If that’s what people are willing to say out loud, how much more are they secretly willing to accept? And even if, somehow, those numbers accurately reflect opinion, how likely is it that significant policy changes will happen on a 50/50-ish issue? Not much to be happy about here if you’re a civil libertarian.


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Electrongod on June 10, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Are we sure they understand that their own emails are included?

S. Weasel on June 10, 2013 at 7:23 PM

I, for one, welcome our new overlords.

portlandon on June 10, 2013 at 7:24 PM

REALITY:

20+ ILLEGAL immigrant criminals running rampant in the US and the response of the OBOZO regime is : We know nothing, NOTHING about them.

Yet my 74 year old grandmother in Colorado phones the local Tea Party group to ask a question, and – without a doubt – the OBOZO regime has her flagged in their data base as a potential threat to America and they start tracking her every move.

TeaPartyNation on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

I also support it. As long as there is proper oversight.

It’s right to be concerned, but I’m not going along with the “we are in a police state!” overreaction.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Well, we had a good run. See ya next Republic I guess.

Rollie on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

I also support it. As long as there is proper oversight.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

And that there is the problem..
Oversight…

Electrongod on June 10, 2013 at 7:27 PM

I will never stop fighting against “Turn Key Tyranny.”

mjbrooks3 on June 10, 2013 at 7:27 PM

We’re full on 1984 now…

Skywise on June 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Between the IRS, ObamaCare and “we’re not going to tax all businesses out of business”, in 20yrs or less (prolly the latter) all opposition to Big Gov. will either have been killed off thru denial of services in ObamaCare, taxed/harassed into oblivion by the IRS or switched sides out of pure desperation for survival.

Hitler done did it all wrong.

RavingLunatic on June 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

And even if, somehow, those numbers accurately reflect opinion, how likely is it that significant policy changes will happen on a 50/50-ish issue? Not much to be happy about here if you’re a civil libertarian.

The thing about the libertarians is they went on another one of their classic freak-outs over PRISM without having an accompanying abuse of the program to point to.

If you want to know why people are disgusted with the IRS right now, it’s because there was a legitimate case to be made that the IRS was abusing their power in targeting conservative groups, and making the IRS a political weapon. Without a similar example of abuse, and certainly no specifics being offered by Snowden (at least so far), you’re not going to garner outrage. After all, collecting and analyzing information isn’t simply something the NSA does, it is the very reason for its existence.

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

depending upon which party is at the controls of NSA.

That’s the real problem. The NSA is at the controls of the NSA. I wonder who is the equivalent of Louis Lerner at the NSA.

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Oversight by whom? Congress, a body of idiots that claim they had noooo idea of how overreaching the NSA had become? They already have the obligation to provide oversight – and they blew it.

Hill60 on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Are we sure they understand that their own emails are included?

S. Weasel on June 10, 2013 at 7:23 PM

These will change.

IlikedAUH2O on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Wonder if the poll respondents understand their calls and emails will be archived forever and information can be retrieved at a future date?

And since the POS announced recently the War on Terror is over what’s the purpose of NSA collecting all this data?

That was the reason for the NSA’s expansion in 2001 and since his (s)election the POS has used the terror war (which he now says doesn’t exist) as grounds for expanding the agency under his watch.

OH, and just think, Susan Rice is soon to be in control of all our info.

wyntre on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Disgusting to see some people here hold up Snowden as a hero. He had other channels to express his concerns about how info was being gathered/accessed. Instead, he went straight for a foreign, lefty newspaper and then apparently fled to Hong Kong.

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

So, the interpretation of the United States Constitution has now been reduced to a popularity poll.

DDay on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

I guess they couldn’t ‘keep it.’

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

NSA is only tracking the Tea Party… and Tim Tebow. So, everything is OK.

faraway on June 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

I am kinda-sorta surprised at the support PRISM is getting.
S O S

mjbrooks3 on June 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

At least when it comes time to start putting American citizens in gulags these fools won’t be spared.

Armin Tamzarian on June 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

I also support it. As long as there is proper oversight.

Like every other government bureaucracy? And at the whim of whichever regime is in power at any given moment?

It’s right to be concerned, but I’m not going along with the “we are in a police state!” overreaction.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Yet.

The Obama administration thanks you for your compliance.

kim roy on June 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Skywise,

Sales of 1984 are up 91% on the Amazon movers and shakers list.

wyntre on June 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

If you see no inherent problem in a govt agency collecting, analyzing, cataloging, and storing this type of information, then you are, at heart, a Statist.

The collection *is* the abuse.

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 10, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Well, now that I’m in a minority, can I get special privileges and government handouts?

Liam on June 10, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Yeah, but according to the POS the WOT is over so we really shouldn’t need the NSA.

wyntre on June 10, 2013 at 7:32 PM

The thing about the libertarians is they went on another one of their classic freak-outs over PRISM without having an accompanying abuse of the program to point to.

If you want to know why people are disgusted with the IRS right now, it’s because there was a legitimate case to be made that the IRS was abusing their power in targeting conservative groups, and making the IRS a political weapon. Without a similar example of abuse, and certainly no specifics being offered by Snowden (at least so far), you’re not going to garner outrage. After all, collecting and analyzing information isn’t simply something the NSA does, it is the very reason for its existence.

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Dear NSA overlords,

When you inevitably arrest every person on this site and send them to a Soviet-style reeducation camp, don’t make me bunk with this piece of sh*t.

Armin Tamzarian on June 10, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

What price are you willing to pay? How much freedom are you willing to give up?

DDay on June 10, 2013 at 7:33 PM

I also support it. As long as there is proper oversight.

It’s right to be concerned, but I’m not going along with the “we are in a police state!” overreaction.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

The lefty here presents the precise, predictable reaction why this is a “squirrel” scandal.
.
It’s designed to ameliorate the much more sinister scandals of the regime using the IRS to target Obama’s and the left’s political opponents as well as the myriad of other more virulant abuses and blend this “acceptable” abuse of power in with the rest as all being not so bad.
.
Of course , the mainstream conservative blogs and sites fall for it and help out with usual cluelessness.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on June 10, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Here is the question they should poll: Do you care if the government has a permanent record of your midget porn viewing habits?

Mark1971 on June 10, 2013 at 7:34 PM

These guys have different numbers.

I don’t know what to believe.

esr1951 on June 10, 2013 at 7:35 PM

If you see no inherent problem in a govt agency collecting, analyzing, cataloging, and storing this type of information, then you are, at heart, a Statist.

The collection *is* the abuse.

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 10, 2013 at 7:32 PM

I will put it plainly: I have no problem with the collection of the information. If that makes me a statist, so be it.

Now, if you have an example where it was used to assemble a database for political purposes, such as identifying Democratic party sympathizers for electoral turnout efforts, or people to target for harassment that are political opponents, you’ll have my sympathy. But the protection of the American people is one of the key functions of government, and I see no reason for the government to apologize for performing the function it was established to do.

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:36 PM

I will never stop fighting against “Turn Key Tyranny.”

mjbrooks3 on June 10, 2013 at 7:27 PM

MPs from Britain’s intelligence watchdog will to fly to Washington next week to seek guarantees that US spies are not snooping on Britons’ emails.

And we tossed them out for a lack of individual rights?

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/10107059/British-intelligence-watchdog-flies-to-Washington-to-demand-answers-on-snooping-scandal.html

IlikedAUH2O on June 10, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:36 PM

How about screwing with an individual for decades?

IlikedAUH2O on June 10, 2013 at 7:37 PM

I figured every poll on this subject would be more in line with Rasmussen’s result this morning, in which 59 percent of likely voters said they oppose government collecting phone records.

I have to admit, since the last election I do not pay much attention to Rasmussen. They let me down.

Terrye on June 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

A caveat: In 2006 the question referred to the feds listening in on calls “without court approval” while in 2013 it mentioned that calls were tracked via “secret court orders.” Court oversight may account for the five-point overall bump in favor, or maybe the more ambiguous phrasing about tracking calls versus listening to them accounts for it.

Yeah well ask the question to mention it involves Obamaphones and see how the numbers change.

But collecting metadata isn’t the same as listening in on phone calls. Nevertheless, you can find out a whole lot about individuals by metadata without even knowing the content of the phone calls. That’s the part the stupid people don’t get when they are okay with this snooping.

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

‘Until August 1914,” A. J. P. Taylor wrote, heartbreakingly, at the beginning of English History, 1914–45,

a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card. He could travel abroad or leave his country for ever without a passport or any sort of official permission. . . . All this was changed by the impact of the Great War.

When I entered into arrangements with American Express, Google, and AT&T, I took a calculated risk with my privacy. I took that risk with American Express, not with the federal government; with Google, not with President Obama; and with AT&T, not the national-security services. Are we to presume now that all private agreements implicitly involve the state? And if so, where is the limiting principle? If I am to expect that private information I keep on a server run by a private company will be routinely accessed by the government without my knowledge, then why would I not also expect that private belongings I keep in a storage unit run by a private company will be routinely accessed without my knowledge? At what point did it become assumed in free countries that relationships between free citizens and free businesses were not sacrosanct? And if privacy is not expected, what explains the furious denials of participation from the likes of Google?

This distinction between privacy in the concrete and in the virtual worlds is silly in principle and even sillier in practice. As Justice Potter Stewart, writing in Katz v United States, explained in 1967:

The Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.

That Constitution, I might remind naysayers, is still in force, and it is not dependent for its authority on the nature of the government over which it reigns. Those who voted for Barack Obama because they liked his civil-libertarian stump speech must be the most disappointed of all. But the great lesson of the last decade is that our vast bureaucracy makes it almost impossible to check abuses of liberty, and that such abuses have become the norm.

Continued…

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

What’s more disgusting is those willing to let the federal government destroy our 4th Amendment rights for a false sense of security. You deserve neither liberty or security.

Fighting terrorism…..the government is doing it wrong.

https://twitter.com/iowahawkblog/status/343761457776828416

jawkneemusic on June 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

How about screwing with an individual for decades?

IlikedAUH2O on June 10, 2013 at 7:37 PM

An example of actual abuse needs to be put forward.

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

oops and mea culpa.

In my haste to understand the scandal I have confused the NSA with the NSA (National Security Advisor – Donilon/Rice) with the National Security Agency (now headed by General Keith Alexander.)

wyntre on June 10, 2013 at 7:39 PM

“Who are you?” Juliet asks from the balcony in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. “Why do you hide in the darkness and listen to my private thoughts?” Romeo replies, wary of her reaction: “I don’t know how to tell you who I am by telling you a name.” Many Americans tend to tailor their reactions to news of privacy abuses according to the names of those responsible — the hypocrisy from both sides in the last week has been astonishing — and yet spying is now a bipartisan game, for Leviathan makes no genuine distinctions. Montague or Capulet, Republican or Democrat, the surveillance state is now a constant, apparently beyond even Congress’s control. Who cares in whose name it violates you?

The Fourth Amendment exists now for precisely the same reason that it existed in 1791: to ensure that, in the absence of extremely compelling situations, Americans are not subject to casual government scrutiny. Its authors understood that knowledge is power, and that, as there is no justification for the state to have too much power over you, there is also no justification for the state to have too much knowledge about you. If you don’t believe that metadata can afford its voyeurs too much information, then consider this study, conducted by MIT and Belgium’s Université Catholique de Louvain, and written up in National Journal last week:

After analyzing 1.5 million cellphone users over the course of 15 months, the researchers found they could uniquely identify 95 percent of cellphone users based on just four data points — that is, just four instances of where they were and what hour of the day it was just four times in one year. With just two data points, they could identify more than half of the users. And the researchers suggested that the study may underestimate how easy it is.

Moreover, the relegation of the spying to supposedly harmless “metadata” is misleading. As my colleague Dan Foster points out:

Unlike the ordinary collection of phone records for law-enforcement purposes, the metadata the government is collecting from Verizon can easily be used to track the movements of users; it includes information on the cell-phone towers calls are routed through.

After 1914, wrote A. J. P. Taylor, finishing his thought:

The mass of the people became, for the first time, active citizens. Their lives were shaped by orders from above; they were required to serve the state instead of pursuing exclusively their own affairs. . . . The state established a hold over its citizens which, though relaxed in peacetime, was never to be removed and which the Second World War was again to increase. The history of the English state and of the English people merged for the first time.

It is precisely this confluence that Americans must resist. The policeman and the postmaster of Taylor’s report knew intuitively that their role was to capture only that which needed capturing. Our policemen may now fly and our postmasters may communicate in binary, but that principle remains as important as ever. Are we really to concede that we must lose our right to it when we pick up the phone?

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 7:39 PM

An example of actual abuse needs to be put forward.

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

David Petraeus

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 7:40 PM

I also support it. As long as there is proper oversight.

It’s right to be concerned, but I’m not going along with the “we are in a police state!” overreaction.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Please define proper oversight as it relates to the Federal Government in your opinion? As someone that works for the Federal Government would you trust me knowing I could trace some of your financial transactions just because?

Just for the record I do not have that ability, and I do not want that ability it is just a question.

F15Mech on June 10, 2013 at 7:41 PM

I believe this poll if this was June 2009….but with all the scandals of this adminstration I find this hard to believe

cmsinaz on June 10, 2013 at 7:41 PM

What’s truly noteworthy about this poll, I think, is how many people felt comfortable telling a pollster that they support surveillance of phone records and e-mails.

I suspect if the question were asked in a personal way – i.e. “Is it OK if the government reads your emails and monitors your phone and internet use?” – the results would be a tad different.

whatcat on June 10, 2013 at 7:41 PM

It’s the old NIMBY thing. People support crazy stuff, until it happens in their backyard.

SouthernGent on June 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

luegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

I am p o’d at both parties, Rubio all of this crp. and bluegill
FO

MontanaMmmm on June 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Disgusting to see some people here hold up Snowden as a hero. He had other channels to express his concerns about how info was being gathered/accessed. Instead, he went straight for a foreign, lefty newspaper and then apparently fled to Hong Kong.

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

You could be right, but lets face it…he knows first hand how people can be ruined, found and monitored via NSA…and apparently he thought enough to get out of dodge…but who is to really say at this time.

Alinsky on June 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Well this nation is lost.

I expect the routine police, FBI, and secret service harassment of those with opinions differing the king’s to come first. Putin style. By some accounts that has already started. The gulags and reeducation camps will be a while yet. They have to find a way to market it, first. We’ll tolerate anything, but only if the pretense that we still have the same country is maintained.

Gingotts on June 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Stoic Patriot,

“But the protection of the American people is one of the key functions of government, and I see no reason for the government to apologize for performing the function it was established to do.”

But the POS says the US doesn’t need protection cause the terror war is over.

wyntre on June 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

I also support it. As long as there is proper oversight.

It’s right to be concerned, but I’m not going along with the “we are in a police state!” overreaction.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

You’ve been saying this all day, bluegill.

We get it. You’re scared. But who does the “proper oversight”?

The feds? Yeah, they’re so trustworthy.

Oh, I know. Politicians.

We’re doomed.

Grace_is_sufficient on June 10, 2013 at 7:43 PM

It’s the old NIMBY thing. People support crazy stuff, until it happens in their backyard.
SouthernGent on June 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Exactly.

whatcat on June 10, 2013 at 7:43 PM

I figured every poll on this subject would be more in line with Rasmussen’s result this morning, in which 59 percent of likely voters said they oppose government collecting phone records.

Everyone is supposedly in favor of gun control too, but we beat back the rats on that one. Why? Not all issues are voting issues, and the intensity is with the people who are outraged over it. (Look at the Huffinglue Post for validation of this theory.)

This has the power to be enormously damaging to rats against the backdrop of all their umpteen other ongoing abuses of power and privacy intrusions. It won’t win over the left-wing partisans that shifted from 2006 to 2013, but it has the power to wedge away many liberal leaning independents.

crrr6 on June 10, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

So you would have no problem with a camera in every room of every house, business, and building in this country?

topdawg on June 10, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Disgusting to see some people here hold up Snowden as a hero.
bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Strawman alert!

whatcat on June 10, 2013 at 7:44 PM

the biggest difference in the splits is Indie Voters support Obama doing it more than Bush.

AYNBLAND on June 10, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Bluegill must like being felt up at the airport too.

jawkneemusic on June 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM

As long as there is proper oversight.

The Romans used to wonder, “Who guards the guards?”

Caligula learned the answer the hard way.

Liam on June 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM

A future of soft despotism awaits.

Enjoy the feeling of increased “safety.”

Revenant on June 10, 2013 at 7:47 PM

The thing about the libertarians is they went on another one of their classic freak-outs over PRISM without having an accompanying abuse of the program to point to.

The abuse is the use of neo-general warrants.

‘At the time of the Founding, Americans despised the British use of the so-called ‘general warrants’—warrants not grounded upon a sworn oath of a specific infraction by a particular individual, and thus no limited in scope and application.

Solving unsolved crimes is a noble objective, but it occupies a lower place in the American pantheon of noble objectives than the protection of our people from suspicionless law-enforcement searches. The Fourth Amendment must prevail.’

- Justice Antoin Scalia, Maryland v King, 2013

Presumably, if such is true about unsolved crimes, it is more than true for crimes that have yet to take place.

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Hey remember when hating the Patriot Act was cool when the President was a white man? Good times, good times….

jawkneemusic on June 10, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Nonsense on stilts. I’m going to be very generous and assume you’d have a problem with police performing cavity searches during every traffic stop. Why? They are trying to protect people from ass-bombs of course! And protecting people is a legitimate function of the government!

You’ve simply allowed yourself to lower the bar. Maybe in 25 more years, you’d be ok with the rectal police. Who knows.

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

People do not understand what is actually going on.

GiantOrb on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

“So this is how Democracy dies, to the sound of thunderous applause.”

I guess Star Wars had it right all along.

gordo on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Until you’re the “terrorist”. The federal government, of course, gets to unilaterally decide what constitutes “terrorism” and will keep defining it down until it’s so hopelessly broad that anyone can be legally targeted.

Armin Tamzarian on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Like all polls, give it two weeks, then we’ll get the real numbers.

You cannot get clear polling when the damn story is breaking, for godsakes.

June 6-9.

Prism didn’t hit until June 8!

If you asked me on the eighth, I would have said acceptable based on the wording of that question.

Look at the nose dive Barry and Hillary have taken on the big three scandals. It took two weeks for reality to sink in.

Same deal here.

Show me a poll at the end of the month with these same numbers, then I’ll declare it a non-starter.

But, I have a feeling once Greenwald and others start filling this out, when people start learning how easy it is to triangulate a person’s entire that-moment life, through metadata, support collapse.

Go ask someone “do you think the government should be allowed to keep a database of every call you made” The first response isn’t yes or now, it’s why.

budfox on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Disgusting to see some people here hold up Snowden as a hero. He had other channels to express his concerns about how info was being gathered/accessed. Instead, he went straight for a foreign, lefty newspaper and then apparently fled to Hong Kong.

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

How do you know he didn’t actually try those channels?

Golly, I wonder what the response would’ve been with 60% of the population AND YOU saying “We don’t care… just so long as I feel safe.”

Skywise on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

When the majority are willing to live under tyranny – liberty and this country – are gone.

TarheelBen on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Push. Poll.

Rational Thought on June 10, 2013 at 7:51 PM

When you think about it Obama’s TSA and NSA tactics aren’t all that different. We’re all guilty until proven innocent. TSA gets to touch our junk and the NSA gets to go through our underwear drawer.

jawkneemusic on June 10, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Now way more than half the country knows what NSA stands for.

Ronnie on June 10, 2013 at 7:51 PM

We’re going to be watched. That’s a given. The answer is to require transparency and strengthen democratic oversight.

kcewa on June 10, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Disgusting to see some people here hold up Snowden as a hero. He had other channels to express his concerns about how info was being gathered/accessed. Instead, he went straight for a foreign, lefty newspaper and then apparently fled to Hong Kong.

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

You should send your phone # and email address to the NSA, along with a note telling how much you approve of the way they are doing business.

RickB on June 10, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Now way more than half the country knows what NSA stands for.

Ronnie on June 10, 2013 at 7:51 PM

They think that is the organization that Susan Rice is going to be the head of.

RickB on June 10, 2013 at 7:54 PM

I don’t think most Americans have any idea what the NSA is/has been doing with their private information…for that matter, I don’ think they know what the NSA is.

d1carter on June 10, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Stoic Patriot,

“But the protection of the American people is one of the key functions of government, and I see no reason for the government to apologize for performing the function it was established to do.”

But the POS says the US doesn’t need protection cause the terror war is over.

wyntre on June 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

I agree on Obama’s hypocrisy. I think the GOP should be slamming him with it, and tell him to make up his mind. Either he acknowledges that al Qaeda is a continuing threat, and that the Benghazi and Boston attacks were real, or the War on Terror is genuinely over in which case no purpose is served by these programs.

Obama has worked himself into a rhetorical tight spot because he wants to declare victory without having actually defeated the enemy.

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:55 PM

You should send your phone # and email address to the NSA, along with a note telling how much you approve of the way they are doing business.
RickB on June 10, 2013 at 7:52 PM

If a person truly believed the “I have nothing to hide” excuse, he would post that info on the internet. Or at least on his Facebook (or other social media) page.

whatcat on June 10, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Like all polls, give it two weeks, then we’ll get the real numbers.

You cannot get clear polling when the damn story is breaking, for godsakes.

June 6-9.

Prism didn’t hit until June 8!

budfox on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Not only that, but this is the only “poll” on this story that has come out so far, other than Rasmussen. And 2 “polls” do not public opinion make.

Likewise, this “poll” was done over the weekend. Such “polls” always skew in favor of Democrats and their agenda. And it was done by the Leftists at PEW in conjunction with the WaPo, who are O’bama’s Varsity Cheerleading Team.

I’ll wait for some more “polling”. As you say, a couple of weeks at minimum.

Del Dolemonte on June 10, 2013 at 7:56 PM

What’s the breakdown for Hope ‘n Change liberals, because I’m guessing those effers are winding themselves into knots trying to support their Dog Eating eavesdropper.

Bishop on June 10, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Nonsense on stilts. I’m going to be very generous and assume you’d have a problem with police performing cavity searches during every traffic stop. Why? They are trying to protect people from ass-bombs of course! And protecting people is a legitimate function of the government!

You’ve simply allowed yourself to lower the bar. Maybe in 25 more years, you’d be ok with the rectal police. Who knows.

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

People have been blown up and assassinated by terrorists. Benghazi and Boston were real incidents. The threat is real. The closest you’re going to get to rectally-concealed bombs is Abdulmutallab and his PETN-based explosive.

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Disgusting to see some people here hold up Snowden as a hero. He had other channels to express his concerns about how info was being gathered/accessed. Instead, he went straight for a foreign, lefty newspaper and then apparently fled to Hong Kong.

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

When it’s yours that is being turned inside out….don’t bitch, Serf. Remember,

..this is what you want.

98ZJUSMC on June 10, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Now way more than half the country knows what NSA stands for.
 
Ronnie on June 10, 2013 at 7:51 PM

 
They think that is the organization that Susan Rice is going to be the head of.
 
RickB on June 10, 2013 at 7:54 PM

 
Ha. Thanks for teeing it up, guys:
 

Headline: Donilon out, Rice to be new National Security Adviser

 
Absolutely nothing about the last 30 years of NSA policy is going to change, but the right wing meltdown is amusing nonetheless.
 
libfreeordie on June 5, 2013 at 8:59 AM

rogerb on June 10, 2013 at 7:58 PM

This poll is based on the the Pollyannaish idea that the US Government a. knows best b. is competent and c. is fair-minded. We already know from two large government clusters-the IRS and DOJ that the US Government is currently NONE of the above. Aside from being obtuse, incompetent and totally biased, the U.S. Government leaks information like Snowden on steroids when it serves their purpose–meaning that any condemnation of Snowden is dripping with irony.

If you give up freedoms to these clowns you’ll never get it back.

MaiDee on June 10, 2013 at 7:58 PM

I don’t think most Americans have any idea what the NSA is/has been doing with their private information…

True, but that’s why we live in a representative democracy with separation of powers. We elect representatives to oversee the executive’s use of the powers we’ve granted. And we can get rid of them if they don’t do a good job.

kcewa on June 10, 2013 at 7:59 PM

This can never be un-done.

Key West Reader on June 10, 2013 at 7:59 PM

I don’t think most Americans have any idea what the NSA is/has been doing with their private information…for that matter, I don’ think they know what the NSA is.
d1carter on June 10, 2013 at 7:54 PM

They need time to catch up, this info is pretty much new to most people. People are just starting to talk about it. Right about now it’s on par with calling random people and asking them to explain recombinant DNA.

whatcat on June 10, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

The problem is this. Shortly after Obama was inaugurated, DHS published a memo stating that the number one terrorist threats the U.S. faced were from evangelical Christians, anti-abortion activists, and returning veterans. They removed the words radical Islam and Islam extremism from all counter-terrorism documents. So be advised – this is a regime that thinks that YOU are the terrorist.

TarheelBen on June 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Who watches the watchers…?

Seven Percent Solution on June 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM

It’s all in how you phrase the question …
——————————————————————————–

Q: Do you support obama’s NSA tracking phone calls to hunt for terrorists?

A: (majority) Yes.

Q: Do you support obama’s NSA tracking e-mails to hunt for terrorists?

A: (near-majority) Yes.

——————————————————————————–

Q: Do you support obama’s NSA tracking/tapping YOUR phone calls, in their desperate attempt to weed out and punish/destroy those whom obama views as his personal “enemies’?

A: (majority) No.

Q: Do you support obama’s NSA collecting/analyzing YOUR e-mails, in their desperate attempt to weed out and punish/destroy those whom obama views as his personal “enemies’?

A: (majority) No.
——————————————————————————–

We have to keep in mind that obama’s NSA spy program has nothing to do with hunting down terrorists (for, if it did, we would not continue to have muslim terrorist attacks on American soil, on a regular basis), and everything to do with the fact that obama is a typical power-drunk, paranoid dictator.

Pork-Chop on June 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM

True, but that’s why we live in a representative democracy REPUBLICwith separation of powers. We elect representatives to oversee the executive’s use of the powers we’ve granted. And we can get rid of them if they don’t do a good job.

kcewa on June 10, 2013 at 7:59 PM

FIFY

Key West Reader on June 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Guess what. I WANT the NSA to have every tool available to catch and stop terrorists.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Right. Because it worked so well in Boston.

Dude, ask yourself a very, very simple set of questions:

How many international vs national calls do you think are made in this country?

How many of those international calls are made by businesses?

How many of those businesses are publicly traded international corporations?

Of the remaining international calls, how many are going to Mexico and Canada?

Japan, Great Britian, Austrailia, South Korea, etc…

After you’ve eliminated all calls to first world business countries, what are you left with?

Out of those remains, how many non-business, second or third-world international calls are made?

Now look at the size of this net. I covers all calls made

We’re looking at a 100% capture net, for maybe 10% of actual, potential threat calls.

Now apply this formula to all forms of digital communications.

It was about stopping terrorists. It’s now about smothering any potential political or social unrest.

budfox on June 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Do you any of you listen to the big 3 network nightly news…the only place a few low info voters might listen?

I don’t doubt this poll…my only surprise is that 90% don’t approve

Voters are clueless…they want to be clueless..that is the dangerous part of it…happy and clueless..easily led. Democrat voter

Redford on June 10, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Panic in Chaos City. Everyone in the DC area has been on the phone with their cell service’s tech people. The wait time is crazy.

IlikedAUH2O on June 10, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I also support it. As long as there is proper oversight.

bluegill on June 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

LMAO – how’s government oversight workin’ for ya these days?

HondaV65 on June 10, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Nonsense on stilts. I’m going to be very generous and assume you’d have a problem with police performing cavity searches during every traffic stop..

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Don’t make that assumption. Stoic Tyrant would support CCTVs in bedrooms to stop adultery, rape, and underage sex ‘if it wasn’t cost prohibitive’ (which it isn’t considering the fact that Americans are unwittingly outfitting their homes with appliances, gadgets, and other items that can be used to spy on them, per David Petraeus).

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Who watches the watchers…?

Seven Percent Solution on June 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM

We do. When we feel like they’re abusing the power we give them we vote them out.

kcewa on June 10, 2013 at 8:03 PM

An example of actual abuse needs to be put forward.

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Ok. I’m not writing War and Peace here.

I’ll get with whomever picks up the gloves.

IlikedAUH2O on June 10, 2013 at 8:03 PM

It’s all in the phrasing of the question..

Do you support the illegal non-court approved wire tapping of phone calls?-2006

Do you support the court approved collection of emails and phone calls to catch terrorists?-2013

I doubt if the question was more personal, the numbers would be the same. Also, they always phrase it to let the democrats off the hook..

and really..

I will put it plainly: I have no problem with the collection of the information. If that makes me a statist, so be it.

Now, if you have an example where it was used to assemble a database for political purposes, such as identifying Democratic party sympathizers for electoral turnout efforts, or people to target for harassment that are political opponents, you’ll have my sympathy. But the protection of the American people is one of the key functions of government, and I see no reason for the government to apologize for performing the function it was established to do.

Stoic Patriot on June 10, 2013 at 7:36 PM

oh… well thank you all to Hell then.. your sympathy will so help if the pattern of Obama’s abuses holds true. You give him the benefit of the doubt after the IRS?

His administration has the reverse Midas touch, everything he handles turns to 100% manure…

But because it’s all highly classified, finding examples which don’t put the leaker in a federal prison might be kinda tough.

But at least you’ll have sympathy when he destroys people for political gain.

To think he hasn’t abused this, when a few in his party crow about the massive database on every American on everything we do as a tool of all future democrat presidents.. really stretches credulity.

mark81150 on June 10, 2013 at 8:03 PM

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