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Americans Believe Government is not Protecting Privacy Rights

The majority of Americans believe the U.S. government is doing a poor job of protecting privacy rights, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Close to 60 percent of Americans polled oppose the NSA’s collection of data on telephone and Internet usage, and a similar majority opposes the legal process supervised by a secret federal court that oversees the government’s classified surveillance, the AP report says.

About six in 10 Americans feel it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice rights to confront terrorism, but suspicions about the government’s promises to protect civil liberties have deepened since 2011 – only 53 percent say the government does a good job of ensuring freedoms, compared to 60 percent in 2011.

Other survey results include the following:

  • 71 percent of Americans do not want officials eavesdropping on U.S. phone calls without court warrants.
  • 62 percent oppose the collection of Americans’ email contents without warrants.
  • Only 34 percent of Americans favor the government’s collection and retention of Internet metadata for future investigations. 

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