Yesterday I commented on USA Today‘s article that revealed leaked information about NSA’s phone data program. I said I was unimpressed with the article’s attempt to make hay out of a necessary and legal program that is effective in protecting our country from potential terrorist attacks.
It seems I’m not alone in my view. The Washington Post has an article today that says most Americans understand what the NSA is doing with this program and support it.
A majority of Americans initially support a controversial National Security Agency program to collect information on telephone calls made in the United States in an effort to identify and investigate potential terrorist threats, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it.
A slightly larger majority–66 percent–said they would not be bothered if NSA collected records of personal calls they had made, the poll found.
Underlying those views is the belief that the need to investigate terrorism outweighs privacy concerns. According to the poll, 65 percent of those interviewed said it was more important to investigate potential terrorist threats “even if it intrudes on privacy.” Three in 10–31 percent–said it was more important for the federal government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats.
Half–51 percent–approved of the way President Bush was handling privacy matters.
USA Today tried very hard to get the American people riled up with this shocking headline splashed across its front page: NSA has massive database of Americans’ phone calls.
The American people read the article about the NSA’s efforts and responded: go to it.