Jan. 20, 2014

Obama’s NSA Speech Has Little Impact on Skeptical Public

Survey Report President Obama’s speech on Friday outlining changes to the National Security Agency’s collection of telephone and internet data did not register widely with the public. Half say they have heard nothing at all about his  proposed changes to the NSA, and another 41% say they heard only a little bit. Even among those […]

Nov. 4, 2013

Most Say Monitoring Allied Leaders’ Calls Is Unacceptable

In the wake of reports that the NSA has been listening to phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other heads of state, a 56% majority of Americans say it is unacceptable for the U.S. to monitor the phones of allied leaders, while 36% say the practice is acceptable.

Jul. 26, 2013

Government Surveillance: A Question Wording Experiment

In the wake of leaked information about the government’s telephone and digital surveillance programs last month, public opinion surveys reported a wide range of reactions. For example, a Pew Research Center/Washington Post survey conducted immediately after the revelations found broad support for the program, while a Gallup survey conducted just days later found more […]

Jul. 26, 2013

Few See Adequate Limits on NSA Surveillance Program

A majority of Americans – 56% – say that federal courts fail to provide adequate limits on the telephone and internet data the government is collecting as part of its anti-terrorism efforts. An even larger percentage (70%) believes that the government uses this data for purposes other than investigating terrorism. And despite the insistence […]

Jun. 17, 2013

Public Split over Impact of NSA Leak, But Most Want Snowden Prosecuted

The public is divided over whether the leak of classified information about NSA phone and internet surveillance serves the public interest. But a majority says that former government contractor Edward Snowden should be criminally prosecuted. The new national survey, conducted June 12-16 by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY among 1,512 adults, finds […]

Jun. 10, 2013

Majority Views NSA Phone Tracking as Acceptable Anti-terror Tactic

A majority of Americans – 56% – say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism, though a substantial minority – 41% – say it is unacceptable. And while the public is more evenly divided over the government’s […]

May. 20, 2013

Partisan Interest, Reactions to IRS and AP Controversies

So far, public interest in a trio of controversies connected to the Obama administration has been limited. Roughly a quarter (26%) of Americans say they are very closely following reports that the IRS targeted conservative groups. About the same number (25%) are tracking the Benghazi investigation very closely, and even fewer (16%) are very […]

Sep. 1, 2011

United in Remembrance, Divided over Policies

Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the events of that day retain a powerful hold on the public’s collective consciousness. Virtually every American remembers what they were doing at the moment the attacks occurred. Substantial majorities say that 9/11 had a profound personal impact and that the attacks changed the […]

Oct. 22, 2010

Continued Positive Marks for Government Anti-Terror Efforts

The federal government continues to get positive marks for efforts to reduce the threat of terrorism, but many Americans say luck is a big reason why the United States has not suffered a major attack at home since Sept. 11, 2001. About seven-in-ten (69%) say the government is doing very (15%) or fairly well […]