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:



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.


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."


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.


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.



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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Jumbotron's picture

LOL....could not care less about the haka.....or any other useless tribal screaming

prains's picture

like I said. <anachro smug american only in it for himself>, you will be eaten, because you already have been.

Jumbotron's picture

Make sure you tenderize me real good now and add a little salt and pepper while you're at it.  I'm an old bird tribal man....LOL!!!!

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

What am I gonna do about it?

1. For starters, I'll take precautions:  I've learned from my "Ossie" (East German) friends to watch my Ps & Qs:  Watch what I say, to whom, where and when.  In person is best, and 'vetted' friends are best also.

2. As for 'online' stuff, ZH bloggers and Writers (Doug Casey, Simon Black) have advised us to get offshore email account(s), and offshore websites if we have one.  Then there's encryption for ALL stuff, and snail-mail or courier for hard copy.  Runners and Face-to-Face worked for Dick Cheney in 2001.  And he certainly "had nothing to hide", right?

3. As for using FB... keep it to basics, boring, vanilla stuff -- to manage your public image.  You can always create an alter ego for your more civic-minded & Libertarian views -- for which your scumbag employer/HR_dept can't retaliate against or keep you from getting hired.  IMO, 'Mind-fucks' are a 2-way street.  And make sure you not only Log Off from FB, but close the Tab and regularly clean the History and Temp files.  Maybe FB cookies too.

4. As for Amazon... I've done a complete 180 on Kindle: Be damned if I'll have them monitor in real time what page of what e-book I'm on!  Gone back to hard copy.  On principle.

5. Log off Google if you're gonna surf Youtube or Alternative News sites!

6. I have no use for porn sites anyway, but I hear that they are infested with 'STDs':  Software-Transmitted Diseases.  Better to buy DVD's from a shop, I suspect.  And most of these sites are run by the Human Trafficking gangs anyway, so screw 'em, so to speak.

7. Never, ever, never use your work-PC for anything other than 'work'!  Same for your work-cellphone (except for brief calls to immediate family).  Use your private cellphone for texting or surfing, you cheap bastard!  You have to be 'fanatical' about this.  Know too many horror stories in this category.

8.  Use other Low Profile tactics.  Am not sharing mine publicly, obviously.

9.  Lead a good life.  Avoid the LEAs and all Traffic violations or parking citations at all cost.  Refuse to get into a DUI situation. Getting a DD (Designated Driver) or a cab is far cheaper.  As an added benefit, these are things that stop feeding the Beast/Machine.

Anybody got anything else of Value Add to add?

Kiss My Icelandic Ass's picture



What sickens me is that 37% approve. It's all over folks. Sheeple, sheeple, sheeple ...

bdc63's picture

... and that 10% have "no opinion" ...

DaveyJones's picture

hard to believe that most people disapprove of illegal behavior

NotApplicable's picture

But... how can it be illegal, when they are the law?

seek's picture

Gallup tax audit in 3...2...1...

RacerX's picture

I just heard a rumour the Gallup prez was seen 5 colombian prostitutes, and that he didn't have on any pants.

Could be just a rumour tho.

buzzsaw99's picture

It wouldn't matter if the gubbermint promised to never do it again. Would you ever trust your phone service, internet provider, mocrosoft, google, whatever, ever again? Could you ever be that gullible? Seriously folks this doesn't matter. If you pay for phone or internet you are paying to be spied upon, it's that simple. There never was any privacy, all you had was a false sense of security. Get used to it, if you use their satellite uplink, their towers, whatever, you are being recorded. Assume the worst from this piece of shit fascist gubbermint and you will never be surprised again.

nonclaim's picture

Spying can be reasonable... the problem is the wide net trolling for "suspicious activities" and then using the result for... suspicious activities!

Bay of Pigs's picture

I watched Sen. Patty Murray from WA on the Cybersecurity and Government Surveillance CSPAN thread and realized how far gone this country is.

She licked their boots like a braindead fucking stooge. Just another lap dog looking for moar gov't treats (funding). She apparently loves and supports fascism as long as the money keeps flowing to her state.

She didn't even bring up the NSA scandal or spying in general. 

Jumbotron's picture

Spying on Americans is ok if done by Obama.....not so much under Bush.  The Demoturds don't like to acknowledge the fact that Obama is using the tools laid out by Bush.

And they still have the balls to say..."BUT....BUT.....Obama doesn't do warrant-less wiretaps like Bush did"

You fucking moron lib-pricks.....EVERYTHING IS A WARRANT-LESS WIRE TAP NOW !!

buzzsaw99's picture

The only difference between then and now is that even the stupidest person on earth knows they can't discuss dirty laundry on the phone or internet. Anyone who does and pays the price will be ridiculed. It is the worst possible outcome for the fascists, it's all out in the open now.

Jumbotron's picture

The only difference between then and now is that even the stupidest person on earth knows they can't discuss dirty laundry on the phone or internet. Anyone who does and pays the price will be ridiculed. It is the worst possible outcome for the fascists, it's all out in the open now.


Which is why the fascist state is falling apart as we speak........ROTFLMAO !!!!!  


US: No plans to end broad surveillance program

buzzsaw99's picture

Which is why the fascist state is falling apart as we speak...

You think it isn't??


Oh yeah, the fascists are acting like this because they have everything under control and aren't worried one bit. :roll:


the thousand year reich baby, oh yeah!

Jumbotron's picture

Oh yeah, the fascists are acting like this because they have everything under control and aren't worried one bit. :roll:

 It's when the fascists fear that the Holocaust comes

NotApplicable's picture

We need a "Fascism is Patriotic!" bumper-sticker.

With lots of eagles and flags and such. Sheeple love that shit.

prains's picture

the eagles should form a swastika

akak's picture

Not just a bumper sticker ---- we need it as a RIBBON!!!

Real patriots always show their patriotism with ribbons.

DaveyJones's picture

no, a medal - made out of fake gold

prains's picture

Willie B

the boys are pointing the banzai institute search lite up into the clouds

really nice asian breasts are bouncing across the sky.....we need your help

gwar5's picture

Murray makes me nauseous. Was runner-up as poster child of ugly progressive women. All the rest were tied for first.

eddiebe's picture

And anyway, since when do the .0000000000001% give a fuck about what we the people approve of?

DaveyJones's picture

when it's products they're selling

when it's senators they're buying - not so much

q99x2's picture

Polls are inaccurate because of the base of information the choices are made from.

For instance if you asked the question like this: Collecting the private information of all US Citizens will assist the DHS in putting one of its 2,000,000,000 billion bullets into and through your skull, your partner's skull and your children's skull, in other words your brains will be blown out accross what little property hasn't been confiscated by the IRS if you answer yes to this question, do you think the NSA should gather all data on its citizens?

In this case you would get the results that most accurately come from an appropriate base of information Vs a fucking question like: Do you think that the Government will do a better job of protecting you by gathering personal data?

Long live the revolution.


QuantumCat's picture

My apologies if someone has already made this point, but  Pew is indirectly funded by Soros... hardly an unbiased research group.


lolmao500's picture

The ultimate flashpoint is coming within 24 hours...

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Well that sounds...intriguing. I presume Tyler will be on this, assuming Glenn isn't blowing smoke.

Oldwood's picture

Glenn has brought forward a lot of good information over the years but this "tease" kind of work I find off-putting. I wish if he had something to say he would just do it and until then keep his yap shut, he diminshes what he has to say by commercializing it to such a high degree. But we will see,

A Lunatic's picture

I'll take that at it's face value.......Entertainment.

Oldwood's picture

I'm not against spying. I'm just against someone spying on me. Isn't that how its supposed to work?

NumberNone's picture

I was going to say I disapprove of government spying but was too scared of who might be listening in on the conversation I was having with the pollster.  

ziggy59's picture

Santelli Savages CNBC Co-Hosts, Cramer For Getting Government Data Before Everyone Else

Miss Expectations's picture

"Telephone call logs and internet communications" 

Well, since you put it like that, it sounds rather innocuous, non?


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The latest Cheney* Poll shows that 1. "Deficits don't matter", and 2. "Spying for National Security and the Greater Good is OK".


* N=1.  Margin of Error... "does not matter"

thisandthat's picture

First thing I ask on polls is -who commanded it and for what purpose is it? It invariably ends there...

Oldwood's picture

I have been hearing about these polls for years now and never, not once has anyone ever called me to ask what I think. In the world of surveillance, I either am invisible or they all already know what I think and are afraid to ask.

Umh's picture

I either hang up on them or don't answer the call to begin with. If I do accidentally answers a pollers call I get off the line as soon as a realize what is going on. My gut reaction to those types of question is there is a scam in there somewhere and if you think about it there probably is a scam in there. Even if it's just the NSA checking up on your opinions.

PAWNMAN's picture

The most frustrating results of the poll for me is how peoples opinion on the matter flip flopped based on what party controls the White House. What a total lack of conviction on such an important issue. A majority of people in this country have their head planted firmly up their own asses!

Cheduba's picture

Ok, so in this age of nanotech and quantum computing, people still believe poll results?  Let me help you decipher how poll numbers are likely generated these days.

Approval for Policy X = 50 < rand() < 60

Manufactured consent for the government's policy!

MrBoompi's picture

You can get any answer you want if you ask the right question. Sure, most of us don't mind spying if it means preventing terrorist attacks. But ask us if we condone spying even if it doesn't prevent attacks, or if its used by mega-corporations to stifle competition and increase profits, and you'll get a completely different result. Or better yet, make people read George Washington's posts about subject here, then ask them.

gwar5's picture

If you have nothing to hide, why do you need a Bathroom Door?


NSA surveillance is not for terrorism, it's for chilling and monitoring political dissident communications, censuring, disrupting movements before they start, creating target lists to be passed along, blackmailing select individuals, and for developing counter-propaganda. This is nasty shit. Web traffic also tells Obama's paid trolls where to go to hijack threads.

Verizon (and others) can slow traffic to targeted phone numbers. Google can down-list sites, Youtube & Facebook remove anti-Obama things they don't like. 

Anecdote: In 2010 I used my debit card for online support of conservative candidates and Tea Party groups. The bank shortly blocked my card. When I called, they said there were "suspicious charges" being put on the card. And yes, it was a bank that had received bail out money. I told them to fuck off and changed banks.

TWSceptic's picture

Forget about the majority, the fact that so many people agree to be spied upon by their government is the shocking news here. Apparently that's how degraded society has become.