Poll: Americans Disapprove of Data Collection, but Media Right to Publish

Thursday, 13 Jun 2013 02:16 PM

By Lisa Barron

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More Americans disapprove than approve of the secret telephone and email data-collection programs revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, according to a new Gallup survey.

A Gallup Poll of 1,008 adults released Wednesday found that 53 percent disapprove of the programs compared to 37 percent who approve.

Democrats were more likely to approve than disapprove, 49 percent to 40 percent, while Republicans were far less likely to approve, 32 percent to 63 percent. Among independents, 34 percent approve and 56 percent disapprove.

The poll conducted June 10-11 also revealed that Americans believe the The Guardian and The Washington Post were right to publish Snowden's leak information.

Fifty-nine percent said they approved of the decision, while 33 percent said it was wrong.
But respondents were split over whether Snowden was right to leak the information to the newspapers, with 44 percent saying he was and 42 percent saying he was not. Republicans and independents were slightly more supportive of Snowden than were Democrats.

Another poll by Time magazine released Thursday also showed that Americans largely support Snowden.

The Time survey of 805 adults, taken June -10-11, found that 54 percent of respondents said he "did a good thing" by releasing the information, while 30 percent disagreed.

At the same time, however, 53 percent said the government should prosecute leakers, although there was a generational divide. Among Americans aged 18 to 34, just 41 percent said he should face charges, while 43 percent said he should not.

In addition, 55 percent of survey respondents said they were aware the government was conducting surveillance of phone calls, emails, and internet searches before the leaks, while 45 percent said they were not aware.

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