Greater Egret

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Listening in on America

We Americans don't agree on much. But I am so happy to see that a sizable majority of both parties think that the warrantless surveillance of Americans' data communications is improper and needs to be reformed. The numbers are almost identical between dems and repubs and even stronger among the independents.

A poll conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union and Global Strategy Group showed that a large majority of Americans wish to see reforms to the mass surveillance carried out under the authority of the USA Patriot Act.

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.
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 sort of unanimity on the part of the left and right is so rare and startling these days that I actually feel good about our country this afternoon. Hoorah!

Mitch McConnell sought to reassure the other day, stating that the country doesn't routinely spy on its citizenry. I am more worried about all the "non routine" stuff and the stingray program which inadvertently picks up every phone call within its reach. The NSA likes to call their collection programs squeaky clean but then you hear about instances in which their agents used the programs to spy on their own love interests. The country says, get a warrant and have probably cause. It's the American way.

1 comment:

Douglas Keller said...

I wrap my mind around it all by imagining how I'd feel if my mailman opened and read every piece of mail that came to my door.