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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
by
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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APRIL 6, 2017

     Americans want their civil liberties.  A majority of Americans are unwilling to share their personal emails, text messages, phone calls and records of online activity with U.S. counter-terrorism investigators - even to help foil terror plots, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.  The poll showed Americans were more reluctant to share personal information than when the poll last asked the question four years ago.

     For instance, 75 percent of adults said they would not let investigators tap into their Internet activity to help the U.S. combat domestic terrorism. That's up from 67 percent who answered the same way in June 2013.  But Americans were more evenly divided when asked whether the government is conducting too much surveillance, showing that while they are deeply concerned about their own privacy there remains a pool of support for U.S. spying programs that can sweep up personal information.
 
     Congress is due to address questions about surveillance later this year when it opens debate over whether to limit the government's ability to conduct warrantless searches of American data.  According to the March 11-20 survey, 32 percent said intelligence agencies such as the FBI and National Security Agency are conducting "as much surveillance as is necessary" and 7 percent said they wanted more surveillance. Another 37 percent of adults said agencies are "conducting too much surveillance on American citizens." The remaining 24 percent said they did not know.
 
 

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