Majority Of Americans Don't Mind Being Spied Upon, Pew Study Finds

Tyler Durden's picture

In what is likely the most disappointing, if not unexpected, news of the day, we find that according to a just released Pew Research study, a substantial majority, or 56% of Americans, "say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism." Only 41% object to having every phone conversation intercepted, investigated, analyzed, and recorded for posterity. Sorry Edward Snowden: you just threw your life away for nothing. The sheep have been properly and thoroughly conditioned and brainwashed, which is why they continue to get precisely the government they so rightfully deserve.

More from Pew:

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, conducted June 6-9 among 1,004 adults, finds no indications that last week’s revelations of the government’s collection of phone records and internet data have altered fundamental public views about the tradeoff between investigating possible terrorism and protecting personal privacy.

It just gets better:

Currently 62% say it is more important for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy. Just 34% say it is more important for the government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats.


These opinions have changed little since an ABC News/Washington Post survey in January 2006. Currently, there are only modest partisan differences in these opinions: 69% of Democrats say it is more important for the government to investigate terrorist threats, even at the expense of personal privacy, as do 62% of Republicans and 59% of independents.


However, while six-in-ten or more in older age groups say it is more important to investigate terrorism even if it intrudes on privacy, young people are divided: 51% say investigating terrorism is more important while 45% say it is more important for the government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible threats.

The survey finds that while there are apparent differences between the NSA surveillance programs under the Bush and Obama administrations, overall public reactions to both incidents are similar. Currently, 56% say it is acceptable that the NSA “has been getting secret court orders to track telephone calls of millions of Americans in an effort to investigate terrorism.”

In January 2006, a few weeks after initial new reports of the Bush administration’s surveillance program, 51% said it was acceptable for the NSA to investigate “people suspected of involvement with terrorism by secretly listening in on telephone calls and reading e-mails between some people in the United States and other countries, without first getting court approval to do so.”

Perhaps least surprising is that once the most vocal objector to "Dubya" pervasive surveillance, the Democrats, are now its most ardent defenders. And so once again, political party line stupidity trumps common sense.

Republicans and Democrats have had very different views of the two operations. Today, only about half of Republicans (52%) say it is acceptable for the NSA to obtain court orders to track phone call records of millions of Americans to investigate terrorism. In January 2006, fully 75% of Republicans said it was acceptable for the NSA to investigate suspected terrorists by listing in on phone calls and reading emails without court approval.



Democrats now view the NSA’s phone surveillance as acceptable by 64% to 34%. In January 2006, by a similar margin (61% to 36%), Democrats said it was unacceptable for the NSA to scrutinize phone calls and emails of suspected terrorists.

Of course, if the president was Romney, his head would already be on a stick. Metaphorically speaking of course.

Finally, the biggest danger to America it appears is not a turnkey totalitarian tyrant, but broad apathy as it turns out only one in four follow NSA News "very closely." The other 3 in 4 are far more concerned with who gets to fake-wed the fake-bachelorette this season, or who is the victor of Dancing with the Stars.

Roughly a quarter (27%) of Americans say they are following news about the government collecting Verizon phone records very closely. This is a relatively modest level of public interest.  Only another 21% say they are following this fairly closely, while about half say they are following not too (17%) or not at all (35%) closely.


Interest in reports about the government tracking of e-mail and online activities is almost identical: 26% say they are following this story very closely, 33% not closely at all.


Attention to these stories is higher among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents: 32% are following reports about the government tracking phone records very closely, compared with 24% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. The partisan gap in interest is almost identical when it comes to reports about government collecting email and other online information: 30% of Republicans and Republican-leaners are following very closely compared with 20% of Democrats and Democratic-leaners.


Overall, those who disagree with the government’s data monitoring are following the reports somewhat more closely than those who support them. Among those who find the government’s tracking of phone records to be unacceptable, 31% are following the story very closely, compared with 21% among those who say it is acceptable. Similarly with respect to reports about government monitoring of email and online activities, 28% of those who say this should not be done are following the news very closely, compared with 23% of those who approve of the practice.

Those who wish to be even more depressed can read on here.

As for Edward Snowden, hopefully this will teach you to throw away your life to liberate a bloated and apathetic society that couldn't care less if the slaughter-gate was slammed shut behind it, and just wants to have its rose-colored blinders on in perpetuity.

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Timmay's picture

This just makes drawing new borders within the country easier. Sheep can stay with the Gov., everyone else can live elsewhere. All electronic connections severed at the border of course.

Seriously, what is the correlation here to private sector workers and Gov workers with how they answered?

Some people truly are stupid.

Divided States of America's picture

The Pew also finds that most Americans dont realize that they have a hand (the Government's) shoved up their asses either. Fuckin puppets.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Bullshit, the real puppets are well compensated, just look at Bush/Obama.

davinci7_gis's picture

The Jews were the same in WWII...they didn't care when Hitler youth vandalized their stores, they didn't care when Nazi's confiscated their friend's businesses, they didn't care when they were forced to wear the star of David, they didn't care when they took their guns away but boy were they concerned when the Nazis started rounding them up and sending them to the Ghettos and camps.


Remember this America....remember!  They're boiling us very slowly..very slowly.

krispkritter's picture

There once was a land of sheep,

Which the propaganda had lulled to sleep.

Big Gov listened to their calls,

While basically cutting off their balls,

And stating it was for their safety's upkeep...

macholatte's picture



"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know," Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in 2009, "maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."


Wag the dog.


Troll Magnet's picture

I'm not really worried about the NSA eavesdropping on my phone conversations. Because I have AT&T. They probably can't hear shit.

Cobra's picture

{NSA to Verizon guy} "Can you hear them now.... Good."

Meat Hammer's picture

Sorry Edward Snowdenyou just threw your life away for nothing.

I couldn't disagree more.  A minority willing to fight, no matter how small, can overcome a couch-potato majority if they want to badly enough.  We're the proverbial cat being pushed into the corner and it takes something like this for the claws to finally come out.  


fonzannoon's picture

as per drudge just now, he has checked out and disappeared, fwiw.

James_Cole's picture

The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted June 6-9, 2013, among a national sample of 1,004 adults 18 years of age or older living in the continental United States (501 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 503 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 247 who had no landline telephone).

Yeah, sounds extremely reliable. 

Hey Assholes's picture

No doubt funded by the NSA.

Mentaliusanything's picture

Edit.well played Sir. Peppe la pew was at least honest.

We played into the hands by lining up to be the first with an I Phone.

cry me a fucking river. gps, skype, email, facebook, Mastercard.... just dont leave home without ! 

Maybe you should?

Chupacabra-322's picture

Our entire system is one giant cesspool of CRIMINAL CORRUPTION. From the executive, judicial, legislative and everything derived from them, federal, state and local. There is nothing that has not been completely and utterly CORRUPTED.

There is not even ONE man or woman in ANY part of government (federal, state, local) that is truly HONEST or has CLEAN HANDS. EVERY single one of them have made some sort of deal with the DEVIL. The longer they are there the dirtier their hands get & instead of having a conscience & getting OUT, the POWER corrupts them more & soon there is NOTHING that will stop them from doing anything and everything they can to stay in and becoming more powerful.

Just like in Sodom & Gomorrah. Not even ONE honest person could be found to prevent GOD from destroying it. So how much hope does America have? Well lets just say, America should be very scared.

But then you must look at the people as well. Sadly most of the people are absolutely CRIMINALLY CORRUPT as well. They lie, cheat steal and kill just like the government, which is why it is so easy for them to turn a blind eye and make excuses for everything the government does.

How to tell a CRIMINAL CORRUPT person. When they try and justify ANY wrong doing for ANY reason.

Some of the justifications they use:
1. Well nobody is perfect
2. He/she is the lesser of 2 evils
3. They could have done or been worse
4. They are doing the best they can
5. They inherited the problem
6. They are not all bad
7. They have never hurt me. As though it is okay to hurt others just not you personally.
8. Yes they lie, cheat and steal but at least they do not kill. Like you would know, especially seeing that they are LIARS. The fact you would have to go to the most heinous crime to try and make them look better should say enough.
9. They are only doing their job. As if claiming it is their job makes their wrongs okay.

The Global Criminal Oligarch Cabal Bankster Intelligence Crime Syndicate


Chupacabra-322's picture

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men,
living together in society,
they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

Frederic Bastiat, (1801-1850)



"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." –Frederic Bastiat

pods's picture

Sorry, but I don't put any stock in "a majority of amerikans" for anything.

Glad rights (supposedly) are independent of the majority.

In fact, what anyone else thinks has no bearing on my rights.

Come on Ben, taper this bitch off so we can destroy this behemoth.



Meat Hammer's picture

Good point, pods.  We're not collectivists so who cares what 50-whatever percent of the population thinks when human rights are for the individual despite the whims of the majority?


Element's picture

Pretty sure if I constructed and asked the questions I'd get some rather different results.

pods's picture

Polls are used to sway public opinion, not to measure it.


Ignatius's picture

The dominate perception is that terrorism and events like 9/11 followed the narrative laid out by the government and the corporate media.  A poll result like this depends on the viability of that narrative -- white hats and black hats.  Nothing will change without breaking the faulty myth and narrative.

tip e. canoe's picture

no doubt they had already done a good amount of "pre-polling" in order to tailor the questions to fit the answers they wished to get.

The Office of Reputation Management strikes again...

sun tzu's picture

All I have to say is fuck the NSA and the idiots that support their spying on Americans.

CaptainObvious's picture

Well, let's do just that, Element.

Upvote this post if you want the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. to stop recording your phone calls, internet activity, health records, credit score, shopping habits, credit card usage, travel records, employment history, etc. because it is unConstitutional.

Downvote this post if you have nothing to hide, aren't doing anything wrong, or believe that in order to stop terrorism we need to surveil all Americans.

Almost Solvent's picture

I like e-mailing nude pictures of myself from my Yahoo account to my Hotmail account with the header: Hey there mister Langley nsa my nuts.

true brain's picture

If you believe in polls, any polls, then you're dumber than G. w.  Bush, or maybe even his dog.

Mentaliusanything's picture

his dog was way smarter than you give credit. he knew he had fleas but the Dog knew where George got them

" Lay down with Dogs get up with.......

caconhma's picture

There is a good news: common people decide nothing. After all, they are just slaves who cannot live without having a master.

Not Too Important's picture

That's an ignorant comment. They cared very much. There just wasn't anything they could do about it. The rich ones left, but the poor ones stayed. It wasn't like any foreign countries wanted them as refugees. They were turned away by the boatload.

And we're in the same boat. Who wants millions of American refugees fleeing what's coming? But this time they won't single out any small group. It's all of us. To be financially raped, then left to die.

AlaricBalth's picture

27 May 2013: A majority of Americans said they believe the federal government today wields too much power, a Gallup Daily tracking survey released Monday indicated. The 54 percent that expressed that belief, however, is only slightly higher than reported in 2012 and slightly lower than reported in 2010 and 2011, Gallup said.

5 June 2013: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 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. 

Cognitive dissonance is permeating throughout the US. Its OK to spy on us, yet the government has too much power and is a threat to individual rights. WTF???

tenpanhandle's picture

and in a completely unrelated poll, 100% of american households that rely on the govt. for their subsistance want more and larger govt. intrusion in their life.

pods's picture

I know one amerikan who hopes they all DIAF.


azzhatter's picture

Snowden needs to give specific examples of abuse. We already know we're being spied on. Show some fucktard liberals being abused and some pictures of say John Bolton blowing Krauthammer. This will get people's attention. His mea culpa is too general. We already know NSA is a band of fucktards

dryam's picture

"The Jews were the same in WWII...they didn't care when Hitler youth vandalized their stores, they didn't care when Nazi's confiscated their friend's businesses, they didn't care when they were forced to wear the star of David, they didn't care when they took their guns away but boy were they concerned when the Nazis started rounding them up and sending them to the Ghettos and camps.


Remember this America....remember!  They're boiling us very slowly..very slowly."


Weren't the Nuremberg trials about former Nazi's saying they were just following orders?.  They were afraid if they spoke up against injustices, then they would be harmed.  Hmm, so someone speaks up about the U.S. government breaking Constitutional laws & the government is going to go after him?  Yes, the Nazi-like environment is here, and it's not going away anytime soon.

dryam's picture

It's not terrorism that the government is investigating.

john39's picture

who needs an old constitution when government can be guided through public opinion...

dryam's picture

They should have also asked "Is the Patriot Act patriotic?, or "Will the Affordable Care Act make healthcare more affordable?", or "Will the Tax Simplification Act make taxes less complex?".

The answers would have been yes, yes, and yes.


Pew sucks.

AssFire's picture

The government is doing all it can to infuriate an angry white taxpaying man- they need some Joe Stacks to validate all the horrific crimes they perpetrate. Going Gault can't even be a solution in this country- the only thing left is expatriating.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Oh, just wait until they change the definition

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

$200,000 a year with a GED and living in Hawaii. This dummy throws it all away to expose an injustice and Americans collectively yawn. I will never second guess my decision to be a sell-out coward ever again.

rwe2late's picture

 By "government workers" do you mean the large number in the military and police?

Do you also mean all the gung-ho ex military and the private sector "defense" contractors?

Perhaps there is a need for fewer generalities and more specifics.

greyghost's picture

just another made up poll to fit the story line. if i had listened to the polls fox news threw in my face before the election i would have been "STUNNED" romney didn't win. really, talking with the folks up and  down the block, most thought the goverment was spying on foreign citizens....not wholesale spying on u.s. citizens. just finished watching a fox news moron asking three other morons if all this spying is ok. not one had any problems with it, that was very painful. fox news never met a nazi they didn't like, unbelievable. 

Go Tribe's picture

The nice thing about the Constitution is that it must be followed no matter how many stupid Americans disagree with it.

de3de8's picture

Just more proof that we are doomed.