Join

Enter Details

Comment on stories, receive email newsletters & alerts.

@
This is your permanent identity for Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker and Business Insider Australia
Your email must be valid for account activation
Minimum of 8 standard keyboard characters

Subscribe

Email newsletters but will contain a brief summary of our top stories and news alerts.

Forgotten Password

Enter Details


Back to log in

America To NSA: Read My Emails, Please

Pew Research CenterThe Pew Research centre asked Americans this month about the balance between investigating terrorist threats and protecting personal privacy.

And they found that we’re not all that into privacy — by about two-to-one, we say investigating terrorism is more important.

56% said it was “acceptable” for the NSA to get secret court orders to track the cell phone data of millions of Americans.

45% even said they were OK with the government monitoring everyone’s email and online activities “if officials say this might prevent future terrorist attacks.”

One interesting aspect of these poll results is the partisan hypocrisy: Having a Democratic president has made Democrats more inclined toward surveillance and Republicans less so. But the more important finding is simply that public support for intrusive surveillance is high, under both Republican and Democratic presidents.

Americans are willing to tolerate a high degree of loss of privacy on the grounds that giving up privacy will make us safer from terrorism. We should only expect the government to become more respectful of privacy if public opinion on that matter changes.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn