Survey shows Americans prioritize probes over privacy

June 11, 2013 06:45

A new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll reveals that a large majority of Americans believe the federal government should focus on investigating possible terrorist threats even if personal privacy is compromised.

Forty-five percent of Americans say the government should be able to go further than it has already, saying that it should be able to monitor everyone’s online activity if doing so would prevent terrorist attacks.

The poll also revealed that most support the blanket tracking of telephone records in an effort to uncover terrorist activity.

Fifty-six percent of Americans consider the National Security Agency’s accessing of telephone call records of millions of Americans through secret court orders “acceptable,” while 41 percent call the practice “unacceptable,” according to the Post-Smith poll.

The poll was conducted amongst a national sample of 1,004 adults. Results from the full poll have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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