• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Are Americans worried about the NSA?
 

Are Americans worried about the NSA?

on

  • 837 views

AEI Political Report, July/August 2013

AEI Political Report, July/August 2013

Statistics

Views

Total Views
837
Views on SlideShare
341
Embed Views
496

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0

3 Embeds 496

http://www.aei.org 489
http://aei.org 6
http://162.243.199.181 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Are Americans worried about the NSA? Are Americans worried about the NSA? Document Transcript

    • Political Report The NSA, Personal Privacy, and Civil Liberties Recent reports that the National Security Agency has collected records of phone calls and Internet data to try to identify possible terrorist threats have produced a flurry of polling activity. In the next several pages, we look at public reaction to the program, its disclosure by former government contractor Edward Snowden, and at people’s concerns about their own privacy. A separate section looks at trends on public concerns about civil liberties and how those have changed since the 9/11 attacks. Most polls below show divisions over the administration’s data collection efforts, but concern remains high. They also show that majorities believe the data gathering has helped to prevent terrorist attacks. The NSA Program Q: It’s been reported that the federal government’s National Security Agency collects extensive records of phone calls, as well as Internet data related to specific investigations, to try to identify possible terrorist threats. Do you . . . ? Strongly support the NSA intelligence-gathering program 24% Somewhat support 34 Somewhat oppose 14 Strongly oppose 25 Source: ABC/Washington Post, June 2013. Q: As you may know, for the past few years the Obama administration has reportedly been gathering and analyzing information on the phone calls of most Americans in an attempt to locate suspected terrorists. The government says it has analyzed the phone numbers that were called but has not listened to those calls. Do you think . . . ? The Obama administration was right in gathering and analyzing those phone records 51% Wrong 48 Note: In a 2006 question about the Bush’s administration’s actions in this regard, 54 percent said the administration was right and 39 percent wrong. Source: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, June 2013. Q: Overall, do you . . . ? Personally approve of the federal government’s policy of collecting phone dialing records, emails, and Internet search records in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks 48% Disapprove 44 Source: Time/ABT–SRBI, June 2013. Q: Overall, do you . . .? ————Response of———— National Rep. Dem. Ind. Approve of the government’s collection of telephone and Internet data as part of anti-terrorism efforts 48% 45% 58% 42% Disapprove 47 51 38 53 Source: Pew Research Center/USA Today, June 2013. Volume 9, Issue 7 • July/August 2013 A M o n t h l y P o l l C o mp i l a t i o n 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • 202.862.5800 • www.aei.org
    • 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • 202.862.5800 • www.aei.org 2 Q: There are reports that since April the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone records of millions of U.S. citizens, including numbers called when calls were made and how long calls lasted. If these reports are true, do you . . . ? Find NSA actions an acceptable government action to help prevent terrorism 32% An unacceptable and alarming invasion of privacy rights 62 Note: Sample is registered voters. Source: Fox News, June 2013. Has the Program Worked? Q: What’s your impression, do you think the . . . ? Government’s collection of telephone and Internet data has helped prevent terrorist attacks 53% Has not 41 Note: Forty-three percent of 18 to 29 year olds, 52 percent of 30 to 49 year olds, 60 percent of 50 to 64 year olds, and 53 percent of those 65 and older thought the collection of data has helped prevent terrorist attacks. Source: Pew Research Center/USA Today, June 2013. Q: Regardless of whether you approve or disapprove of this government surveillance program, do you think . . . ? Such efforts have done a great deal/some to protect the country from terrorist attacks 64% Not much/nothing at all 31 Source: Time/ABT–SRBI, June 2013. Surveys on Snowden The Edward Snowden story is still developing, but most polls show that people think he should be brought to justice in this country. Q: Do you think . . . ? The U.S. government should attempt to bring Snowden back to this country and prosecute him for leaking that information 54% Should not 42 Source: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, June 2013. Q: Do you think . . . ? The government should pursue a criminal case against the person responsible for leaking the classified information in the program 54% Should not 38 Source: Pew Research Center/USA Today, June 2013. AEI POLITICAL REPORT CONTRIBUTORS Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow; Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar; Michael Barone, Resident Fellow; Henry Olsen, Vice President. Research Assistants: Jennifer Marsico, Editor; Andrew Rugg, Editor; Interns: John Benjamin, Natalie Boyse, Marshall Sanford (continued on the next page)
    • 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • 202.862.5800 • www.aei.org 3 Q: The NSA surveillance program was classified as secret, and was made public by a former government contractor named Edward Snowden. Do you . . . ? Support Snowden being charged with a crime for disclosing the NSA surveillance program 43% Oppose 48 Note: Forty-three percent of self-identified liberals, 45 percent of moderates, and 45 percent of conservatives supported charging Snowden. Source: ABC/Washington Post, June 2013. Q: Do you think the federal government should . . . ? Prosecute government officials and others who leak classified material that might damage national security 53% Should not prosecute leakers because the public has a right to know about such programs 28 Note: In the next question in the poll, 54 percent said the person who leaked the information about this secret program did a good thing and 30 percent a bad thing. Source: Time/ABT–SRBI, June 2013. Q: As you may know, news organizations found out about this program through the leak of classified information. Do you think . . . ? This classified information serves the public interest 49% Harms the public interest 44 Note: During the 2010 Wikileaks disclosures, 29 percent thought those leaks served the public interest, while 53 percent said the leaks harmed the public interest. Source: Pew Research Center/USA Today, June 2013. Perspectives on Personal Privacy In a survey taken before the revelations about the NSA, 90 percent told Allstate/National Journal interviewers that they had less privacy concerning their personal information than previous generations. Forty-three percent in another ques- tion in the poll said they were generally comfortable with the amount of information about them that is being collected and used, while 55 percent said they were concerned. In a more recent survey, 62 percent said they believed the govern- ment had collected and stored information about them. Of that group, most thought the government had not analyzed or paid much attention to it. Q: Compared to previous generations, do you feel you . . . ? Have more privacy when it comes to your personal information 8% Less privacy 90 Source: Allstate/National Journal, May–June 2013. Q: Now thinking specifically about the amount and type of information about you that might be available from these sources [described in the previous question as “public databases, transaction history, Internet usage, security cameras, GPS, and other sources], are you . . . ? Generally comfortable with the amount of information about you that can be collected and used 43% Concerned 55 Source: Allstate/National Journal, May–June 2013.
    • 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • 202.862.5800 • www.aei.org 4 Q: Do you think . . . ? The U.S. government has not collected and stored data about your personal phone calls 34% Has collected and stored data 62 The government is currently using that data to investigate you 8% This data is stored somewhere but the government has not analyzed or paid much attention to it 51 Source: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, June 2013. Q: How much control do you feel you have . . . ? Have a great deal of control over what type of information about you is collected and used by businesses, government, individuals, and other groups 5% Some 29 Not very much 37 None at all 28 Note: In a follow-up question, 39 percent said they had a great deal or some control when it comes to being able to fix incorrect information about themselves; 59 percent said not very much or none at all. Source: Allstate/National Journal, May–June 2013. Q: If you knew that the federal government had computerized logs of your telephone calls and Internet communica- tions stored in a database that it uses to track terrorist activity, how concerned . . . ? Would be very concerned that your privacy rights had been violated 35% Somewhat 22 Not too 21 Not at all 21 Source: Gallup, June 2013. Q: Here are some increased powers of investigation that law enforcement agencies might use when dealing with people suspected of terrorist activity which would also affect our civil liberties. For each please say if you would . . . Favor Oppose 81% Expanded camera surveillance 18% on streets and in public places 79 Use of facial-recognition technology 17 to scan for suspected terrorists at various locations and public events 55 Law enforcement monitoring of 42 Internet discussions in chat rooms and other forums 38 Expanded government monitoring 59 of cell phone and email, to intercept communications Source: CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation, April 2013.
    • 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • 202.862.5800 • www.aei.org 5 Q: And thinking about yourself, do you think . . . ? The U.S. government has probably collected data about your personal phone calls, emails, or other online communications 54% Probably has not 39 Note: In a follow-up question, 63 percent said they would feel their personal privacy had been violated if they knew the federal government had collected data about their telephone or Internet activity, and 36 percent would not. Source: Pew Research Center/USA Today, June 2013. Q: How concerned are you about information on each of the following being used by businesses, government, individuals, and other groups without your consent? Very concerned about this information being used Identifiable information like your Social Security number and home address 74% Information about your children 64 Your personal financial activity 57 Your communications history, like phone calls, emails, and Internet use 48 Your personal health information 46 Personal pictures of yourself and family 44 Your location and travel activity 36 Your political preferences and activities 29 Your shopping and purchasing history 28 Source: Allstate/National Journal, May–June 2013. Obama on Terrorism and Surveillance Q: Do you . . . ? Note: Asked of registered voters. Source: Fox News, latest that of June 2013. Q: Do you . . . ? Approve of how Barack Obama is handling the govern- ment’s classified surveillance pro- gram that collects the phone and Internet records of the U.S. citizens 32% Disapprove 61 Note: Asked of registered voters. Source: Fox News, June 2013. 52% 41% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Feb- 2010 Jun- 2010 Oct- 2010 Feb- 2011 Jun- 2011 Oct- 2011 Feb- 2012 Jun- 2012 Oct- 2012 Feb- 2013 Jun- 2013 Approve of the job Barack Obama is doing on the issue of terrorism Disapprove
    • 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • 202.862.5800 • www.aei.org 6 Civil Liberties: What the Data Show Immediately after 9/11, as the trend below shows, majorities of Americans told the pollsters that it would be necessary for the average person to give up some civil liberties in order to curb terrorism. As we have gotten further away from that extraordinary time, attitudes have shifted substantially towards prioritizing civil liber- ties. The same change over time toward greater concern about civil liberties is shown by the questions below about the Bush administration and now the Obama administration’s actions. Right after 9/11, only 10 percent said its actions had gone too far. In 2006, 39 percent said they had gone too far. This June, 43 percent gave that response. Q: In order to curb terrorism in this country, do you think. . . ? Sources: Los Angeles Times, Pew, and Newsweek, latest that of September 2010. Q: Do you think . . . ? ————————————Bush administration has———————————— Gone too far in restricting people’s civil liberties in order to fight terrorism About right Not far enough November 2001 10% 60% 26% October 2006 39 34 25 ————————————Obama administration has———————————— June 2013 43 38 17 Note: Not all askings shown. Source: CNN/USA Today/Gallup, 2001 and 2006; CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, 2013. Q: Do you think that the government . . . ? Is striking the right balance between preventing terrorism and protecting the privacy of American citizens 28% Should be doing more to prevent terrorism, even if it means giving up more of your privacy 20 Should be cutting back on such programs that threaten privacy 43 Source: Time/ABT–SRBI, June 2013. Q: What do you think is more important right now . . . ? More important for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy 62% More important for the federal government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats 34 Source: Pew Research Center/Washington Post, June 2013. 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Will not be necessary for the average person to give up some civil liberties 54% 40% It will be necessary
    • 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • 202.862.5800 • www.aei.org 7 Immigration and Immigration Reform With Congress currently debating immigration reform, pollsters have conducted several new surveys on the issue. The results show that border security remains a higher priority for most Americans than creating a path to citizenship for ille- gal immigrants currently in the country. However, most people support a pathway with certain qualifications (a waiting period, payment of back taxes, a criminal background check, etc) and most would prefer to implement a pathway while the border is being secured, not afterward. Polls on the impact of such a policy reveal mixed opinions. For example, people think legal status would be good for the economy while also taking jobs away from Americans. Assessments of the Current Situation Q: Thinking about your daily life, do you . . . ? Yes, have personal contact with any recent immigrants who you know for a fact, or who you suspect, are in the United States illegally 30% No 69 Source: Pew Research Center/USA Today, June 2013. Policy Views Q: What should be the main focus of the U.S. government in dealing with immigration policy? Main focus should be Creating a path to citizenship for many immigrants who are in this country without permission from the U.S. government 36% Increasing border security to reduce or eliminate the number of immigrants coming into this country without permission from the U.S. government 62 Source: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, June 2013. Q: Do you think . . . ? ——————Response of—————— National Rep. Dem. Ind. Illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. should be allowed to obtain legal status only after the border is secure 35% 49% 25% 33% They should be allowed to obtain legal status while border security is still being strengthened 56 43 66 56 Source: CBS/New York Times, April 2013. Q: Just your best guess . . . compared to ten years ago, do you . . . ? Think the number of immigrants entering the U.S. illegally today is higher compared to ten years ago 55% Lower 15 About the same 27 Source: Pew Research Center/USA Today, June 2013. Q: Based on what you know . . . ? The nation’s borders today are very secure 7% Somewhat secure 41 Not too secure 28 Not at all secure 22 Source: United Technologies/National Journal, June 2013.
    • 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • 202.862.5800 • www.aei.org 8 Q: Suppose that on Election Day you could vote on key issues as well as candidates. Would you vote for a law that would . . . ? Vote for a law to Allow illegal immigrants living in the U.S. the opportunity to become citizens after a long waiting period if they paid taxes and a penalty, pass a criminal back- ground check, and learn English 87% Require U.S. business owners to check the immigration status of any employees they hire, with stiff fines and penalties for employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers 77 Allow employers to hire immigrants if it can be demonstrated that they were unsuccessful in recruiting an American to fill an open position 55 Vary the number of lower-skilled immigrants allowed to enter the country depending on how the U.S. economy is doing 53 Source: Gallup, June 2013. The Impact of Immigration Reform Q: Next, I’m going to read you some statements about undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with each statement. Somewhat Somewhat Strongly Strongly agree agree disagree disagree It would be better for the economy for undocumented immigrants to gain legal status and become legal 44% 32% 10% 13% workers Granting undocumented immigrants legal status would encourage more 38 26 19 15 people to come here illegally Granting undocumented immigrants legal status would be a drain on 36 24 21 16 government services Granting undocumented immigrants legal status would take jobs away 29 22 24 24 from U.S. citizens Would reward illegal behavior 28 26 20 23 Source: Pew Research Center/USA Today, June 2013. Q: If the 11 million illegal residents currently in the United States become citizens or legal residents, do you think . . . ? Illegal immigrants becoming citizens will help the economy 50% Will hurt the economy 40 Note: Sample is registered voters. Source: Fox News, June 2013. 0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 1000 20 40 60 80 100
    • 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • 202.862.5800 • www.aei.org 9 Political Impact Q: Do you . . . ? Pew Time/AbT Gallup CBS /NYT Fox Approve/Favor Obama’s handling of immigration/immigration policy 43% 44% 40% 39% 39% Disapprove/Oppose 47 45 55 49 53 Note: Question wording varies. All questions asked in June 2013. Fox sample is registered voters. Q: And what’s your impression if the Republican Party supported a way for undocumented immigrants to gain legal status do you think . . . ? Response of National response Republicans This would help the Republican Party’s performance in national elections 37% 39% Hurt the Republican Party’s performance 18 20 It wouldn’t make much difference 41 38 Source: Pew Research Center/USA Today, June 2013. Q: If a candidate for Congress supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, would that make you . . . ? More likely to vote for that candidate if they support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants 26% Less likely 24 No difference 44 Source: Quinnipiac, May 2013. See you in September! The editors of AEI’s Political Report will not publish an August issue. We welcome your suggestions about topics you would like to see covered in future issues. Contact Andrew Rugg (Andrew. rugg@aei.org) with your suggestions. Vital Stats is Here! AEI’s Norm Ornstein, with Brookings’ Tom Mann, the Campaign Finance Institute’s Michael Malbin, and AEI’s Andrew Rugg, has just released the latest edition of Vital Statistics on Congress. For the first time ever, this invaluable volume will be online only, free, and fully accessible to the public. If you have any questions about Congress—the demographics of the institution, members’ occupations, partisan polarization, re-election rates­—Vital Stats is the definitive source for the information. To download the data for your own use, please visit www.brookings.edu/vitalstats.