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Americans Strongly Accept Public Surveillance: Poll

Americans overwhelmingly favor installing video surveillance cameras in public places, judging the infringement on their privacy as an acceptable trade-off for greater security from terrorist attacks, according to the latest poll from the New York Times and CBS News.

Seventy-eight percent of people said surveillance cameras were a good idea, the poll finds. Nine out of 10 people polled said Americans would always have to live with the risk of terrorism, although many believe the government can combat the threat through rigorous law enforcement and proper regulation, the article reports.

Other results from the poll include:

  • 45 percent of respondents believed that U.S. intelligence agencies had information that could have prevented the Boston bombings.
  • 53 percent said the Tsarnaev brothers had links to a larger terrorist group. 32 percent say they had acted alone.
  • 66 percent say information about how to make explosives should not be allowed on the Internet, even if some would view that as a form of censorship.
  • Only 20 percent of respondents believed the government had gone too far in restricting civil liberties in the fight against terrorism, while 26 percent said it had not gone for enough. 49 percent said the balance is about right.
  • 23 percent of people are very concerned about a terrorist attack in their area.
  • 56 percent say they approved of President Obama’s handling of terrorism.
  • 72 percent say they do not plan to avoid large public events to reduce their exposure to potential terrorism, yet only 48 percent believed that state and local authorities are prepared to deal with such an attack. 

You can see a visual breakdown of this poll's demographics here

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