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Gallup poll at odds with Pew survey on how Americans feel about NSA surveillance

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A few days ago, I reported HERE on a Pew Research Center poll showing that a majority of Americans were supportive of National Security Agency tracking of phone records as safeguard against terrorism.

But now Gallup is out with a NEW SURVEY showing much different results:

More Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%) of the federal government agency program that as part of its efforts to investigate terrorism obtained records from U.S. telephone and Internet companies to “compile telephone call logs and Internet communications.”

These results are from a June 10-11 Gallup poll. Although the current survey context was different, these results are similar to those obtained in a May 2006 Gallup poll measuring support for a government program that “obtained records from three of the largest U.S. telephone companies in order to create a database of billions of telephone numbers dialed by Americans.” In that survey, 43% approved and 51% disapproved.

There are significant partisan differences in views of the government’s program to obtain call logs and Internet communication. Democrats are more likely to approve, by 49% to 40%. Independents (34% vs. 56%) and Republicans (32% to 63%) are much more likely to disapprove than approve.

In 2006, when Gallup asked the similar question about a program that came to light at that point, Republicans were significantly more likely to approve than Democrats. The differences in partisan reaction between 2006 and 2013 reflect the party of the president under whose watch the programs were carried out at those two points in time.

Twenty-one percent of Americans disapprove of the government’s actions, but say there could be circumstances in which it would be right for the government to carry out such a program, yielding a combined total of 58% of all Americans who either approve or could theoretically approve under certain circumstances.

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2 Comments

  1. Neftali

    During the election, Gallup appeared to consistenty favor Romney more than other polling firms, and they rightly got criticized for it. from what I hear, they’ve reviewed their polling processes and made adjustments.

    That said, a recent CBS poll agrees with Gallup over Pew, so perhaps they have regained their credibility.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57588748/most-disapprove-of-govt-phone-snooping-of-ordinary-americans/

  2. Robert

    I wonder what new polls would say if Snowden’s comments exposing our hacking of China’s and other countries computer systems is included in what he’s exposed. Personally, I think that he crossed the line when he supposedly admitted to the USA also hacking into the Chinese computer networks. It’s one thing to inform the American people they’re being tracked and data based at levels that many didn’t realize (I did know about it but I suspect most people didn’t know to the extent he revealed), but, it’s another to admit to another country we are snooping on them (even though we may know its happening, did he have to admit it?). If he did admit to that, my support of his actions and further intentions is lessening.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/13/edward-snowden-nsa_n_3433011.html

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