Most Americans Still OK With NSA Spying Programs

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Here’s the latest polling on the NSA surveillance program:

Most Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll support telephone and internet surveillance by the National Security Administration, but two-thirds also favor congressional hearings on the subject — indicating broad interest in more information about these activities.

The public by 58-39 percent supports the NSA collecting “extensive records of phone calls, as well as internet data related to specific investigations, to try to identify possible terrorist threats.” Support for the program is far higher among Democrats and liberals than among Republicans and strong conservatives, reversing Bush-era political divisions on issues of privacy vs. security.

It’s now been two weeks since the original Guardian story, and several recent polls have produced similar results. For now, then, I think we can say that we have a pretty good idea of what the public thinks. They favor surveillance by about a 2:1 margin, and now that Obama is president that margin is much higher among Democrats than Republicans.

On interesting tidbit about this: on most issues these days, opinion among independents is closer to Democrats than to Republicans. On this one, just the opposite is true: Independents are aligned almost perfectly with the newly Foxified and skeptical Republicans. Politically speaking, this should be unsettling news for Democrats.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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