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Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is OK To Fight Terrorism 584

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the don't-want-to-get-onto-a-list dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While the tech media has gone wild the past few days with the reports of the NSA tracking Verizon cell usage and creating the PRISM system to peer into our online lives, a new study by Pew Research suggests that most U.S. citizens think it's okay. 62 percent of Americans say losing some personal privacy is acceptable as long as its used to fight terrorism, and 56 percent are okay with the NSA tracking phone calls. Online tracking is fair less popular however, with only 45 percent approving of the practice. The data also shows that the youth are far more opposed to curtailing privacy to fight terror, which could mean trouble for politicians planning to continue these programs in the coming years."
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Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is OK To Fight Terrorism

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  • Bull Shit! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @08:05AM (#43971427)
    It's not true!
  • by stanIyb (2945195) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @08:15AM (#43971497)

    Click bait for the countless 14-yo libertarians who infest these boards.

    What about the 14-yo non-libertarians who whine that there are countless 14-yo libertarians on Slashdot?

    And who be just OUTRAGED, that somebody dared to point out that the government is the collective will of the people, and may actually have our interests and safety as their core mission

    Collective will or no, the government isn't supposed to violate the constitution; the majority do not and should not have absolute power, and neither should the government. Individual rights need to be protected, and I probably couldn't even be considered a libertarian.

  • Re:Phone tracking (Score:4, Informative)

    by moeinvt (851793) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @08:42AM (#43971771)

    The government can have access ... IF they have probable cause that you are involved in criminal activity AND they obtain a warrant precisely describing what information they want to seize.

    They CANNOT just copy all of your personal data and save it for future use.

    We fought a revolution partly because we didn't want the government to be able to arbitrarily spy on innocent people and the Fourth Amendment clearly elaborates this prohibitions on government.

  • Re:Bull Shit! (Score:4, Informative)

    by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @09:01AM (#43971993) Journal

    Poll results are notoriously sensitive to exactly how the questions are phrased. The other problem is that those polled might not understand the entire scope of the program, or have considered how it can be misused and how little protection against misuse there might be (or might not be - that's the charming thing about a secret court)

    I wonder if the polls would have the same result if they were asked if their information were used in a presidential campaign?

    “Earlier this year, in an interview with TV One, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) praised President Barack Obama for putting together a campaign database that "will have information about everything on every individual."

    “And that database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been done before,” Waters told “Washington Watch” host Roland, referring to Obama’s “Organizing for America,” which was changed from a campaign organization to a 501(c)(4) called Organizing for Action. ...
    Martin asked if Waters if she was referring to “Organizing for America.”

    “That’s right, that’s right,” Waters said. “And that database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been done before.”

    Waters said the database would also serve future Democratic candidates seeking the presidency.

    “He’s been very smart,” Waters said of Obama. “I mean it’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.” []

    Remember, winning means everything. It's not about getting more voters. It's about getting more of YOUR voters to vote (or at least make it appear that way). The first step in getting your own voters out is to know who they are, where they live, what they are doing, etc. The other half of this is what is going to happen to use who do not vote for the (D) candidate?

  • by Goboxer (1821502) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @10:06AM (#43972893)

    ACLU Petition to Stop Massive Government Spying Program []

    Please sign that petition. Or Write your Representative [] or Write your Senators []. They are easy enough to find []. Seriously. If you aren't telling the people that represent you how wrong, awful, and downright unacceptable the NSA actions are they have no reason to stick their neck out to change it.

    Nobody is asking you to fight a war, like previous generations of Americans have. Just sign a petition. Write a letter. It is that easy to improve this country. Whether you think that is true or not, remember that an outcry from a small group of people have altered politics before and it can happen again. The only thing preventing this country from getting better is silence.

  • by Herkum01 (592704) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @10:38AM (#43973305)

    The sampling is only valid for the question posed. If you change the question, you can also change the results. Sometimes even changing the order of the question can ALSO change the results.

    To imply that only potential problem with this study is sample bias, you would be wrong.

  • Re:Bull Shit! (Score:4, Informative)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @11:19AM (#43973857)

    I don't think George expected them to know what median means. Take you, for example :)

    But I clearly do know what median means. My stupidity lies elsewhere.

  • Re:Bull Shit! (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @11:28AM (#43973991) Journal
    There's another poll that says only 26% favor the government’s secret collecting of these phone records for national security purposes regardless of whether there is any suspicion of wrongdoing. [] Also, 56% of Likely U.S. Voters now consider the federal government a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights. That’s up 10 points from 46% in December. [] So your suspicion is right, if you ask different poll questions, you get different results. (warning: those pages auto-play video with sound).

    The question in the story asks, "Are you willing to give up some personal privacy," and that question is too broad. I am willing to give up some personal privacy if it saves lives, for example, I am more than happy to tell you the color of my carpet is red and my walls are white, and my carpet is blue. I am annoyed, but willing to have my bags searched at airports if it helps. So saying 'some privacy'.......well that doesn't tell you anything about the NSA listening to phone calls.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley