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