7 Comments

Summary:

Americans weren’t swayed much by President Obama’s proposed changes to NSA data gathering and retention policies.

US flag, propaganda, PRISM
photo: Marina99

President Barack Obama’s big NSA statement Friday apparently didn’t do much to sway public opinion on the security agency’s data gathering practices, according to Pew Research Center findings. 

Half of those surveyed by Pew Research and USA Today, said they heard nothing about the changes the president proposed and 41 percent said they heard just a bit about them.  Among other things, Obama proposed curbing the ability of intelligence agencies to access phone records as well as moving that collected data out of the hands of the government. And he said that even data collected abroad about non-Americans should be deleted after a predetermined period and its use be limited to specific counter-terrorism and cybersecurity applications. 

Of the 1,504 adults surveyed between January 15 and 19, approval of the data collection program disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has fallen to 40 percent now down from 50 percent approval in July.  More than half of the respondents (53 percent) disapprove of the program now, up from 44 percent in July.

pew

As to whether what Snowden did was good or bad, respondents were divided. Forty five percent said the leaks served the public interest while 43 percent said they were harmful. But more than half (56 percent) said they thought the feds should “pursue a criminal case” against Snowden while a third (32 percent) did not want that to happen.

Snowden remains in Russia while the reverberations of his disclosures — that U.S. tech companies including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo aided the NSA’s data collection program — wittingly or not — continue to be reverberate. European cloud providers, for example, are pushing EU clouds as a safer alternatives for customer data. Meanwhile, several of the U.S. tech companies affected said Obama’s recommendations were fine as far as they went, but they didn’t go far enough.

  1. Nobody really cares about their privacy. They just say they do because deep down they know they are supposed to. But in reality they couldn’t care less, as evidenced by their use of Google and Facebook. These sites are the real violators of our privacy, much more than the NSA. People that really, truly care about their privacy don’t used those sites. Instead, they use sites like Ravetree, DuckDuckGo, HushMail, etc. Don’t be a fake privacy advocate – be a real one.

    Share
    1. It 12 years too late, 1 Senator, and 66 members of the House (Democrats overwhelmingly) out of 522 Congressmen cared to even vote against the Patriot Act when it passed. The public is too busy Twittering and Snapchatting to care.

      Share
    2. Missy,
      I think people care but they know they cannot do anything about it at this point. Privacy is almost non-existent today.

      Share
  2. A few groups, advocates and activists care and are speaking up, if we really want to protect our privacy digital rights .there is a whole other human rights issue now as we never had any end point protection rights either.. as users of technologies and Internet platforms. Some of us who are not U.S.A citizens care about our digital rights and the rights of many innocent users…

    Share
  3. This problem is way bigger than any one POTUS.

    Share
  4. Restricting voters’ choices to 2-parties – each mirroring the otheer – for 60+ years brings us exactly to where we belong. Restricting education to what feels good – for 60+ years brings us to a society where and when our taste buds are more important than ethics, the textures of trans-fats consumed are more important than the quantity or result.

    Our watchdogs are lapdogs – more often those elected rather than appointed members of jurisprudence; but, even that will change if what passes for American conservatism, nowadays, continues apace, collaborating in cowardice.

    The only ongoing positives flow from single-issue activism pressing the powers-that-be into relief, allowing a small measured impulse of liberty to flow against the tide of ennui and conformity.

    Over the weekend, a New Mexico judge ruled against helicopter surveillance used as fishing trips – followed by search warrants after-the-fact. The state will of course appeal. Just as Obama has rolled out blather-all propaganda supposedly tempering state spying – instead of reversing what still is a crime against constitutional standards.

    Share
  5. This will be the flagship highlight of Obama’s time in office. Like Bush has the ‘War on Terrorism’ label, Clinton has the ‘Homolka Incident’ etc.

    If Obama wants this ‘War on Personal Data Protection’ label, so be it. He had the opportunity to clear that but he relented and only play lip service of the so called changes. They won’t. They’re just gambling this whole thing will be forgotten in a few weeks and it’ll be back to business as usual for the NSA. Much like happens with Monsanto and their various cancer causing chemicals being used and them knowingly lying how safe it is supposed to be. (PCB, Saccarin, dioxin -agent orange-, sterilizing GMO crops, etc etc. They’re long forgotten and that’s the game Obama’s team is banking on.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post