GALLUP: 53 percent of Americans disapprove of domestic phone spying

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Gallup released a new poll Wednesday revealing that 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the National Security Agency’s domestic phone spying program revealed last week by intelligence leaks by 29 year-old defense contractor Edward Snowden.

The sentiment closely matches the results of a CBS News poll conducted between June 9 and 10, which found that while 75 percent of Americans approve of the surveillance of phone records of Americans suspected of terrorist activity, 58 percent disapproved of “this type of data collection of ordinary Americans.”

The Gallup poll — conducted from June 10 – June 11 — also found that only 37 percent of Americans are concerned about violations of privacy if  “the government had computerized logs of their telephone calls or Internet communications.” 22 percent of Americans are “somewhat concerned” of the NSA’s domestic spying.

Additionally, Americans are split over whether they think that Snowden did the right thing by leaking classified information to the press; 44 percent are supportive of Snowden’s actions, while 42 percent are not. 14 percent did not have an opinion on the matter.

A poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press between June 6 and 9, however, told a radically different story: 56 percent of Americans approved of the “NSA getting secret court orders to track calls of millions of Americans to investigate terrorism.”

“And while the public is more evenly divided over the government’s monitoring of email and other online activities to prevent possible terrorism, these views are largely unchanged since 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” said Pew.

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