Vast majority of Americans reject mass surveillance to thwart terrorist attacks

75% surveyed by Ipsos/Reuters said, "they would not let investigators tap into their Internet activity to help the U.S. combat domestic terrorism"(up from 67% in 2013).

But they're less unanimous about whether the US government is spying too much already (sad trombone).

According to the March 11-20 survey, 32 percent said intelligence agencies such as the FBI and National Security Agency are conducting "as much surveillance as is necessary" and 7 percent said they wanted more surveillance. Another 37 percent of adults said agencies are "conducting too much surveillance on American citizens." The remaining 24 percent said they did not know.

Most Americans unwilling to give up privacy to thwart attacks: Reuters/Ipsos poll [Dustin Volz/Reuters]

Notable Replies

  1. Aren't these all "Have you stopped beating your wife?" questions?

    [Genuinely interested in the results of a poll on "Do you believe giving up privacy of X would help the US combat domestic terrorism.]

  2. When asked if they supported a law requiring toilets to be installed on the front porch, as a means of fighting terrorism, fully 93% said no.

  3. Interesting that they don't ask about giving up privacy of snail mail.

  4. kenny says:

    I'd like to see a simultaneous poll that asks if people believe that someone else should give up these privacies in order to help foil terrorist plots.

  5. Of course not—they all think the government should be monitoring someone ELSE's internet activity to combat terrorism.

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