Americans do not like NSA spying and want to reform the Patriot Act, new poll reveals

GARY CAMERON/REUTERS


GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

“With five days in the legislative calendar remaining before a pivotal aspect of the Patriot Act expires, a new poll shows widespread antipathy to mass surveillance, a sense of where the debate over the National Security Agency’s powers stands outside of Washington,” writes Spencer Ackerman at the Guardian.

Commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union and carried out by the Global Strategy Group and G2 Public Strategies, the poll of 1,001 likely voters found broad opposition to government surveillance across partisan, ideological, age and gender divides.

Sixty percent of likely voters believe the Patriot Act ought to be modified, against 34% that favor its retention in its current form. The NSA uses Section 215 of the Patriot Act as the legal basis for its daily collection of all Americans’ phone data, as the Guardian revealed in June 2013 thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, a practice that a federal appeals court deemed illegal on 7 May.

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Dig into the poll data yourself at the ACLU website: PDF Link. Below, highlights of some of the other findings in the report, excerpted from that PDF.

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