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  (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 BRB29 on 6/12/2013 12:02:47 AM , Rating: 2
Why can we not have a safe society while also preserving the precious liberties our forefathers granted to us with their lives? Look at Israel. It's a relatively democratic state in the midst of a very hostile, autocratic region, with enemies camped out along its national borders. Its citizens enjoy great freedom, yet at the same time they are highly protected from danger.

WTF You must not be thinking about the same Israel. This must be in a dream.

Now look at America. We gave up a lot of our liberties, yet the country is increasingly more dangerous, not safer, ever since the Twin Towers fell. Best of all, we have a government whose various departments, agencies and repressive regimes are actively plotting against us, under the disguise of "national security".

What country are you comparing the US to? We actually have much more freedom than almost all 1st world countries and amongst the safest also.

You're a worthless pro-government shill. You tell us to shut our mouths, because you clearly believe your own backstabbing government can never ever do any wrong. Yep, you have gone full speed delusional retardation.

Coming from the guy that thinks Israel is a utopia of some sorts lol

RE: Defnition
By ritualm on 6/12/2013 12:19:01 AM , Rating: 2
What country are you comparing the US to? We actually have much more freedom than almost all 1st world countries and amongst the safest also.

For a country whose mainstream media has admitted to self-censorship over black-on-white racial violence because it would be politically incorrect to report straight facts to the people.

Safest? You're just pulling a clump of poop out of your ass and calling it a brick of 99.99% pure gold.

More freedom? Not by most accounts. Oh yeah, the guy who accused me of dreaming is himself living in a dream.

Pot, kettle, black.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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