By Special Report College Associate Ford Fischer
A new study by the Pew Research Center was released this week, detailing the views of Americans about the state of government domestic spying and how they have changed their habits as a result. This study comes nearly two years after details of these programs leaked through former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
An overwhelming majority (87%) of Americans are at least somewhat aware of the surveillance programs. Of these, a strong majority (61%) feels that they have become less confident that these programs serve the public interest. Further, the majority of both parties (70% of Republicans and 55% of Democrat) say they have lost confidence.
A full 57% described the monitoring of US citizens as unacceptable. At issue seems to be whether the targeting is too broad. While most say that have lost confidence in the programs, 82% still feel that monitoring suspected terrorists is still acceptable.
Many Americans say they have changed their behavior as a result of the revelations. Over one third (34%) of those who are aware of the domestic spying have taken steps to shield themselves. According to the poll: “17% changed their privacy settings on social media; 15% use social media less often; 15% have avoided certain apps and 13% have uninstalled apps; 14% say they speak more in person instead of communicating online or on the phone; and 13% have avoided using certain terms in online communications.”
What are your thoughts?