Poll: Majority says NSA program acceptable for fighting terrorism

ADVERTISEMENT
The Washington Post/Pew Research poll released Monday found that 56 percent of those surveyed support the NSA secretly collecting information of telephone calls and Internet use in order to investigate possible terrorism threats. Forty-one percent of those surveyed disagree, the poll found.

Broken down by party affiliation, 52 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents said they find the programs acceptable. Meanwhile, 47 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of Democrats, and 44 percent of independents do not find the programs acceptable, according to the poll.

The poll's findings come less than a week after leaked information about the agency's secret telephone and Internet data collection programs were published by The Guardian and The Washington Post.

The poll also found that 62 percent say it's more important to investigate potential terrorist threats over not intruding on privacy. Thirty-four percent said it's more important to not intrude on personal privacy even if that means the government cannot investigate some possible terrorism threats.

On Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney refused to go into detail about on the data collection program or Edward Snowden, the man who reportedly leaked the details of the programs. Over the weekend, The Guardian revealed Snowden as the person who leaked the information.

"There is obviously an investigation under way into this matter, and for that reason, I am not going to be able to discuss this individual or this matter," Carney said.

The poll was conducted June 6 to June 9 among 1,004 adults. Two hundred and twenty-four Republicans, 352 independents and 337 Democrats were surveyed. The poll had a total margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. Among Republicans there was a margin of error of 7.9 percentage points, among Democrats there was a margin of error of 6.4 percentage points and among Independents there was a margin of error of 6.3 percentage points.