Americans Don’t Trust the Government
A poll released today shows that Americans across the political spectrum hate the Patriot Act and NSA spying.
The bipartisan polling team – made up of Global Strategy Group and G Public Strategies – found (edited for readability):
- By nearly a 2:1 margin (60% modify, 34% preserve), Americans believe the Patriot Act should not be reauthorized in its current form. With broad, bipartisan support across all ages, ideologies and political parties, voters are rejecting the argument that the Patriot Act should be preserved with no changes because of potential terrorist threats. Millennials (65% modify) and Independent men (75% modify), in particular, are driving the push for modification to limit government surveillance.
- By more than 4:1 (82% concerned, 18% not concerned), voters find it concerning that the United States government is collecting and storing the personal information of Americans, including 31% who are extremely concerned and 25% who are very concerned.
- Over three quarters of voters found four different examples of government spying personally concerning to them. The government accessing personal communications, information or records without a judge’s permission (83%) and using that information for things other than stopping terrorist attacks (83%) were the two most concerning examples to voters.
- Specific arguments made in favor of adding more protections for Americans around privacy, also proved to be convincing to voters. 84% of voters said it was a convincing argument that local police and the FBI should have a warrant to search phone and email records, further confirming that Americans believe that individual privacy rights should be more strongly protected. Additionally, 81% of voters were convinced more protections were needed on account of companies providing loopholes in their services to make surveillance easier for the government.
This jibes with previous polls showing that Americans: