Print 95 comment(s) - last by Piiman.. on Jun 15 at 10:51 AM

  (Source: AP)
Majority approves of government tracking phone records (and by proxy location)

new study by the non-partisan Pew Research Center suggests that for all the attention paid by the media, social libertarians, and civil rights advocates regarding government spying, the majority of Americans are okay with their federal government spying on them to an extent.

The survey reports that 56 percent of Americans think its fine for the government to seize daily phone records of millions of Americans, most of whom have never committed a crime.  These records can be used to track a person's position over time. Only 41 percent of respondents opposed the seizures.

Further, nearly half of Americans (45 percent) want the government to monitor everyone's email to fight terrorism, while only a little more than half (52 percent) want to keep their email private.  This is nearly identical to 2002, when 45 percent of people supported email monitoring and 52 percent opposed it.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, partisan politics continue to be a route both of America's ruling parties use to convince people to embrace their bipartisan monitoring efforts.  In Jan. 2006, 61 percent of self-identified Democrats opposed monitoring, versus only 23 percent of Republicans.  At the time 75 percent of Republicans supported surveillance programs by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Nearly one out of every two Americans is fine with the government tracking them and reading their email.  [Image Source: CNN]

Today, nearly twice as many Republicans (47 percent) oppose monitoring, while only about half as many (34 percent) Democrats oppose it.  It appears that for many Americans they only oppose the government spying on them if it’s the political party they don't like.  Similar trends are observed on the topic of email monitoring.

Also perhaps predictable is the fact that support of a police state and 24-7 surveillance increases with age.  Among people age 18-29, 45 percent think the government should prioritize privacy over security, while for individuals age 65+ only 25 percent feel privacy is most important.

Also interesting is the fact that only a fourth of Americans are monitoring the NSA news story closely -- less Americans than the NSA is authorized to monitor, ironically.  While older people tend to have the least opposition to government monitoring, counter intuitively they're following the news about the NSA leaks the closest.

The survey of 1,004 individuals was conducted by Princeton Data Source.  The results were weighted based on the demographics of the individual and census statistics.

Source: Pew Research Center

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RE: Defnition
By AntiM on 6/11/2013 1:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
Most forms of government look good on paper...Democracy, Communism, Socialism. They all have their good points and bad points. The problem is that eventually, they ALL fall victim to greed and corruption. You think you can change this government merely by voting? Not a chance. Our elected officials are not the ones running this country.

The Native Americans had the best form of government, which was basically no centralized government. They probably didn't even have a word for it. Early settlers considered them savages, but they were actually quite peaceful and lived in harmony with the environment. It's the white settlers that were the murdering savages.

RE: Defnition
By theapparition on 6/11/2013 2:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
Early settlers considered them savages, but they were actually quite peaceful and lived in harmony with the environment. It's the white settlers that were the murdering savages.

Wow, just wow. Amazing the level of stupidity in this world.

The different tribes didn't live harmoniously, and killed each other at the slightest dispute. And they did so with brutality that would turn your stomach.

Do they even teach history anymore?

RE: Defnition
By AntiM on 6/11/2013 5:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, just wow. Amazing the level of stupidity in this world.

You're the one that needs a history lesson.

RE: Defnition
By ritualm on 6/11/2013 9:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you know what you're really saying.

Sure, they lived harmoniously... when their claimed territories DID NOT OVERLAP. When they did, however, they fought each other in ways no less bloody than whites versus natives.

Pot, kettle, black.

RE: Defnition
By Piiman on 6/15/2013 10:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
That's mankind for you. We seem to be a race that loves to be right or else you die. Just look at this tread, instead of trying to figure out what to do we have one side calling the other stupid and vise versa. Instead of fighting each other shouldn't you be trying to gain support to fight the real enemy?

Divided we fall and right now we are falling fast and hard and that's just what "they" want. If we can't come togeather to fight them how will anything change?

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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