Poll: Most Americans Support NSA's Effort
Friday, May 12, 2006; 7:00 AM
A majority of Americans initially support a controversial National Security Agency program to collect information on telephone calls made in the United States in an effort to identify and investigate potential terrorist threats, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it.
A slightly larger majority--66 percent--said they would not be bothered if NSA collected records of personal calls they had made, the poll found.
Underlying those views is the belief that the need to investigate terrorism outweighs privacy concerns. According to the poll, 65 percent of those interviewed said it was more important to investigate potential terrorist threats "even if it intrudes on privacy." Three in 10--31 percent--said it was more important for the federal government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats.
Half--51 percent--approved of the way President Bush was handling privacy matters.More
Which makes a certain amount of sense as most folks have nothing to hide. It does make one wonder how much privacy Americans are willing to trade for security though. As I stated in my previous post the phone records issue does set a dangerous precedent as cell phones GSM logs could also be requested by the Government. Although I'm certain America would be a lot less comfortable with that.
It does appear that the phone companies involved violated the stored communications act and could potentially be fined billions. However I'm sure the administration will use the war time powers arguement to protect them from liability.
It makes one wonder whats next on the privacy hit list and at what point will America say that enough is enough?
Anyone for a constitutional ammendment guaranteeing a right to privacy yet?