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US Citizens Now More Concerned about Loss of Civil Liberties than Terrorism

A new public opinion poll by Pew Research illustrates that we are now more worried about our government abusing our civil rights than we are about terrorist attacks. This recent poll highlights just how much recent disclosures by Edward Snowden about extensive NSA spying have influenced the manner in which Americans now view US anti-terror policies:


This surprising research by Pew finds that “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.” And that “an even larger percentage (70%) believes that the government uses this data for purposes other than investigating terrorism.”

But what is perhaps most surprising is the finding that this is the first time since the September 11 attacks that more people have expressed greater concern over the increasing loss of their civil rights than protection from terrorism:

“Overall, 47% say their greater concern about government anti-terrorism policies is that they have gone too far in restricting the average person’s civil liberties, while 35% say they are more concerned that policies have not gone far enough to protect the country. This is the first time in Pew Research polling that more have expressed concern over civil liberties than protection from terrorism since the question was first asked in 2004.”