Snapping out of our "Do Anything -- Just keep us Safe™," post-9/11 stupor ...
Major opinion shifts, in the US and Congress, on NSA surveillance and privacy
Pew finds that, for the first time since 9/11, Americans are now more worried about civil liberties abuses than terrorism
by Glenn Greenwald, theGuardian.com, Monday 29 July 2013
Numerous polls taken since our reporting on previously secret NSA activities first began have strongly suggested major public opinion shifts in how NSA surveillance and privacy are viewed. But a new comprehensive poll released over the weekend weekend by Pew Research provides the most compelling evidence yet of how stark the shift is.
Among other things, Pew finds that "a majority of Americans -- 56% -- say that federal courts fail to provide adequate limits on the telephone and internet data the government is collecting as part of its anti-terrorism efforts." And "an even larger percentage (70%) believes that the government uses this data for purposes other than investigating terrorism." Moreover, "63% think the government is also gathering information about the content of communications." That demonstrates a decisive rejection of the US government's three primary defenses of its secret programs: there is adequate oversight; we're not listening to the content of communication; and the spying is only used to Keep You Safe™.
Maybe protecting the Constitution and our Bill of Rights, kind of matters too.