The more the American people learn about the reach and power of the NSA the less supportive they have become. According to a new Pew Research poll only 40 percent of Americans approve of the government’s collection of telephone and internet data as part of anti-terrorism efforts. A majority, 53 percent, now disapprove of these actions. This is a notable reversal from July of 2013 when 50 percent approved of these tactics.
A plurality of all partisan groups now disapprove, but the NSA still has its strongest support from Democrats. Only 48 percent of Democrats disapprove while 46 percent approve. The Democratic base is still giving their president the benefit of the doubt but their support for massive surveillance has been eroding quickly as new information is released.
Among all age groups young adults are by far the least supportive. Only 35 percent of adults age 18-29 support the data collection. I suspect as the most tech savvy generation they have the best understanding of how intrusive and dangerous this kind of collection can be.
The poll is a very strong vindication of Edward Snowden. He believed the American people wouldn’t approve if they knew the truth about the NSA and now that they do know, they don’t.