And Now Another Poll: Most Americans DISapprove Of Government Spying

Tyler Durden's picture

Two days ago, when Pew Research came out with a poll showing that a majority (56%) of Americans replied affirmatively to the question if "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," we were disappointed if not shocked.

However, what is surprising, is that moments ago Gallup has released its own poll conducted on June 10-11  "with a random sample of 1,008 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia" and which finds precisely the opposite: "More Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%) of the federal government agency program that as part of its efforts to investigate terrorism obtained records from U.S. telephone and Internet companies to "compile telephone call logs and Internet communications."

In other words Pew has uncovered a nation of sheep, who are all too willing to hand over their full privacy to a government operating in secrecy while being modestly "inconvenienced" in the name of the security of the "greater good", whereas Gallup uncovers just the opposite.

What can one deduce from this discrepancy? Perhaps it is nothing more complex than polling bias, most recently observed during the 2012 presidential campaign, and which shows that sometimes it is more important who is doing the polling than who is being polled and what questions are being asked.

Indeed, as Gallup concludes: "The reactions to these types of government programs have remained constant over the past seven years, although Republicans and Democrats have essentially flipped their attitudes over that time period, reflecting the change from Republican President George W. Bush to Democratic President Barack Obama."

And logically following from this, it also assists in perpetuating public bias and a political agenda - once again split according to party lines - in determining what the prevalent public mood should be based on such and such poll to force one to abdicate one's own views and beliefs, and to be absorbed by the Borg collective just because some (artificial) majority believes the contrarian view to be the correct one. After all humans are mostly social animals, unwilling to deviate far from what is "considered" the prevailing normal.

While we will leave this question open, here is what else Gallup found:

 

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These results are from a June 10-11 Gallup poll. Although the current survey context was different, these results are similar to those obtained in a May 2006 Gallup poll measuring support for a government program that "obtained records from three of the largest U.S. telephone companies in order to create a database of billions of telephone numbers dialed by Americans." In that survey, 43% approved and 51% disapproved.

There are significant partisan differences in views of the government's program to obtain call logs and Internet communication. Democrats are more likely to approve, by 49% to 40%. Independents (34% vs. 56%) and Republicans (32% to 63%) are much more likely to disapprove than approve.

In 2006, when Gallup asked a similar question about a program that came to light at that point, Republicans were significantly more likely to approve than Democrats. The differences in partisan reaction between 2006 and 2013 reflect the party of the president under whose watch the programs were carried out at those two points in time.

Twenty-one percent of Americans disapprove of the government's actions, but say there could be circumstances in which it would be right for the government to carry out such a program, yielding a combined total of 58% of all Americans who either approve or could theoretically approve under certain circumstances.

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A June 9-10 CBS News poll also found a majority (58%) of Americans disapproving of the government "collecting phone records of ordinary Americans." A June 6-9 survey conducted by Pew Research Center and The Washington Post found that 56% of Americans said a program in which the National Security Agency "has been getting secret court orders to track telephone call records of millions of Americans in an effort to investigate terrorism" was "acceptable." The combined 58% in the Gallup survey who either approve or say there might be circumstances in which such a program would be right is similar to the acceptable percentage in the Pew/Post wording.

Thirty-Five Percent of Americans Very Concerned About Violation of Their Privacy Rights

A separate question included in Gallup's survey found that 35% of Americans said they would be "very concerned" about violation of their own privacy rights if the government had computerized logs of their telephone calls or Internet communications. Another 22% said they would be "somewhat concerned."

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Sixty-four percent of Americans are following news about this issue very or somewhat closely, which is slightly above average for all news stories tested by Gallup over the past two decades.

Mixed Sentiment About the Leaker's Action

U.S. officials are engaged in a manhunt for Edward Snowden, the former U.S. government contractor who claimed to be the source of the leak. Americans break roughly even when asked if it was right (44%) or wrong (42%) for Snowden to share that information with the press.

A plurality of Republicans said he did the right thing in leaking the news of the surveillance programs, while a plurality of Democrats said he did the wrong thing.

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Americans are more positive about the media's actions in this matter, with 59% saying it was right for The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers to publish the information once they received it.

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Implications

Results from the Gallup poll indicate that Americans have somewhat flexible views about the government's surveillance program and/or that they are still forming their opinions on the issue. A majority of Americans say that they might find the type of government surveillance program that has come to light in recent days as acceptable under some circumstances, but less than half say they approve of the program as it stands.

The reactions to these types of government programs have remained constant over the past seven years, although Republicans and Democrats have essentially flipped their attitudes over that time period, reflecting the change from Republican President George W. Bush to Democratic President Barack Obama.

Americans are divided as to whether the self-confessed leaker, Edward Snowden, is a hero or a villain, while one-third of Americans fault the press for advancing the story.

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lolmao500's picture

In other news, around 40% of Americans are totally pants-on-head retarded...

You think voting will change things? Lulz!

SemperFord's picture

Those 40% deserve what they get in the FEMA camps

lolmao500's picture

Those 40% won't end up in mass graves... the other 60% will, on the other hand.

Jumbotron's picture

This seems interesting.  Personal peer to peer encryption to only people you trust.  It's called Retroshare.

Have a look here....

http://retroshare.sourceforge.net/index.html

 

And here is an article about it here....

http://www.unixmen.com/retroshare-a-next-generation-secure-communication...

 

Best thing is....it's all free

francis_sawyer's picture

"More Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%):"

~~~

The 37% apparently come from Maxine Waters & Dianne Feinstein supporters & other such water carriers...

espirit's picture

Just caught a blurb on the yahoo thread that sums up the situation.

"What's happening now is like watching a friend die of cancer."

Amerika the beautiful, withering away.

jbvtme's picture

obviously, from the way those senators were ballsucking nsa and dhs, their phones were in capable hands

DaddyO's picture

Exactly, when one particular Senator started to ask a tough question, the Chairwoman cut him off mid-sentence and rephrased it for him...

DaddyO

Edit:Looks like the IRS is having 2nd thoughts on expanding the surveillance state.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/irs-cancels-order-spying-equipment

jeff montanye's picture

 

"The reactions to these types of government programs have remained constant over the past seven years, although Republicans and Democrats have essentially flipped their attitudes over that time period, reflecting the change from Republican President George W. Bush to Democratic President Barack Obama."

"we have always been at war with eastasia".

and when the red/blue flips again, so will they.

no shame, no self-consciousness, no enlightenment.

 

 

gwar5's picture

It's a 6 foot melanoma. There's an old surgeon's saying that has saves many lives: "If in doubt, cut it out."

 

Cap Matifou's picture

Here rather applies an other saying:

Please remove the patient from this mountain of tumor.

pods's picture

Funny thing about most americans............

I don't give a fuck what they "think," if you can call it that.

Makes me warm and fuzzy that the morons are on my side now. 

Great.

I am actually surprised that anyone stays on the phone when someone calls asking for an opinion.

pods

cougar_w's picture

87% of those polled disapprove of polling Americans on whether or not they approve of government spying.

DaveyJones's picture

silly, polls are the new alternative to court intervention

I thought you knew that

A Lunatic's picture

These dumb-shits act as if submitting to Tyranny is up for a vote.

Frankie Carbone's picture

Bingo! There is NO VOTE for inalienable rights. They exist. Period. That's why they are called inalienable.

 

Frankie Carbone's picture

Bingo! There is NO VOTE for inalienable rights. They exist. Period. That's why they are called inalienable.

 

greyghost's picture

the one thing i notice about these polls, is how many questions they ask. i just ask my neighbors if they approve of the nsa reading e-mails and listening to their phone calls. every single one says...NO. i don't ask if it would be okay if it only happens on the third thursday following the last full moon!!! what a crock of crap these polls are.

Creepy Lurker's picture

That's how a poll is spun. You can make a poll say anything you want.

thisandthat's picture

Problem with trusted "friends" is they're either few or not really trustworthy at all...

CH1's picture

Best thing is....it's all free

"Gimme free shit" is for suckers.

Jumbotron's picture

Best thing is....it's all free

"Gimme free shit" is for suckers.

 

Retroshare is FOSS...Free, Open Source Software....written for Windows, OS X and Linux.....you know....Linux....which is also free and open source.......and what's probably running ZeroHedge's Web Site and Servers.  Also free and open source is the kind of info we get here at Zero Hedge......

......but you're right of course....it's for suckers......douche bag

thisandthat's picture

But... that's socialist! (or so said MS)

Jumbotron's picture

But... that's socialist! (or so said MS)

So sayeth the software version of a fascist. (Steve Ballmer)

Frankie Carbone's picture

Not true. 

Just as there are things worse than death (like living in a totalitarian state) there are things far more valuable than any pile of money.

Giving one's time FREELY to restore privacy is one of them. So sometimes, the best things in life are gifts, which are FREE.

There are people that give a shit. And by helping you, they help themselves by continuing the legacy of the republic.

Which was.. Freedom from Tyranny.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

This is why the public shouldn't be allowed to vote on issues trhey don;t understand. Do average Americans really understand the threat of cyberterrorism? Of course not. Decisions that require a detailed understanding of modern cyberwarfare should be left to experts at the CIA and the Pentagon.

Rustysilver's picture

MDB,

This why you should NOT be allowed to post. Period. You have no comprehensions related to finance or life in general.

Umh's picture

He is wasting space and distracting people from the topic at hand.

jeff montanye's picture

not imo. he is coming at it from another direction and making a similar point.

Lendo's picture

Like Buckaroo said, he's obviously trolling.

Something something I'm only entitled to first amendment rights, not those I disagree with, something something.

ebworthen's picture

MDB - either this is wickedly good sarcasm, or you would turn your Mother in for Soylent Green.

lolmao500's picture

MDB has learned to love his chains.

prains's picture

unfortunately although MDB's scrotal proclamations tend to the ridiculous he is a thread filling troll

11b40's picture

I love him, too, but he is far from being a retard.  He is wickedly perceptive, and a deliberate agitator, willing to poke a colied snake for fun.  The reaction he wants, he gets.

 

The first time I read one of his posts, it set me off and I spent 10 minutes on a response ripping him, but once understand his game, it is simply amusing to watch responses from those have not yet caught on.

espirit's picture

MDB, I think you've hit the nail on the head.  Perhaps it is the CIA and Pentagon sparring with the NSA, and as you well know - "There can be only one."

Revenge for David Petraeus can be sweet!

DaddyO's picture

+1

I know a retired E7 who provided security for Patraeus in theatre and said he's a true man's man fwiw...

I personally think he was gonna paint someone in a bad light and paid a high price for it without ever uttering a word.

Patient Revenge is a bitch!!

DaddyO

1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

MDB you are either a cool dude or you need your ass kicked..

 

notadouche's picture

Hard to understand subjects that remain shrouded in secrecy, lies, disinformation and partisan bullshit.  The average American can understand common sense information not rehashed in legal jargon, double talk, political BS.  It's one of those things that is always stated but never tested as the average American is never given the chance.  

The reality is that these political hacks that call themselves leaders are nothing more than "average Americans" masquerading as above average organisms because they've had their asses kissed for so long they actually believe their own BS.  People of economic advantage generally act as if they are more intelligent than what they actually are via confidence and the twisted notion that rich equals intelligence.  

I guarantee you the average American can understand the evils of voyerism.  Political voyerism is more sinister than your average run of the mill voyerism.  Average American's can understand the notion of Jack Booted Thugs breaking down their door and abusing their constitutional rights in the name of national security.  Get profiled once with the potential of being victimized by the abuse of power  and you will know the scared shitless feeling you get in your gut when you realize you are at the mercy of the authority and whether they know the difference between right and wrong and actually give a shit.    

I was naive once to that notion until about 5 years ago.  From that day forward I understood.  

thisandthat's picture

MillionDollarBogus at his "best"...

Satan's picture

Exactly MDB!

Voting should be left to white, heterosexual, male 1%ers with a clear understanding of stuff and things.

Jumbotron's picture

"Those 40% won't end up in mass graves... the other 60% will, on the other hand."

Those 40% will be forced to dig our graves....until they get the bullet in the back of the head when they are done.

lolmao500's picture

Well, jobs are jobs! And when the job is done, being killed by the state increases the percentage of people employed... which is bullish!

espirit's picture

"Americans are divided as to whether the self-confessed leaker, Edward Snowden, is a hero or a villain, while one-third of Americans fault the press for advancing the story."

I got a chuckle out of this because the press has had the approval to release this story, no if's and's or but's. 

Divide and conquer the Amerikan Sheeple. 

James_Cole's picture

The gallup poll has a higher percentage of cellphone users than the pew, people who use primarily landlines are a fairly specific group.

Results from the Gallup poll indicate that Americans have somewhat flexible views about the government's surveillance program and/or that they are still forming their opinions on the issue.

This is what the media is for, to help spoonfeed Americans the correct attitude (support of the program / view Snowden as a traitor). 

Oldwood's picture

The only polls I have participated in were telepathic. Do you get those...the voices in the head asking you questions?

Lets_Eat_Ben's picture

You see there are three types of people in this world: Dicks, Pussies, and Assholes. And apparently most democrats are fucking pussies! lol

James_Cole's picture

Methinks you missed one of the main points of the article.

In 2006, when Gallup asked a similar question about a program that came to light at that point, Republicans were significantly more likely to approve than Democrats. The differences in partisan reaction between 2006 and 2013 reflect the party of the president under whose watch the programs were carried out at those two points in time.