ABC reports on the results of its overnight poll on the public’s response to the leak about the NSA’s phone record analysis program:
Americans by nearly a 2-1 ratio call the surveillance of telephone records an acceptable way for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, expressing broad unconcern even if their own calling patterns are scrutinized.
Lending support to the administration’s defense of its anti-terrorism intelligence efforts, 63 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll say the secret program, disclosed Thursday by USA Today, is justified, while far fewer, 35 percent, call it unjustified.
66% of respondents also said it wouldn’t bother them if their phone records were collected.
Via Power Line News.
UPDATE: Most Americans would, I think, agree with the sentiment underlying Scott Ott’s satirical reporting of a call for a more “transparent” spy agency:
Concerned that the National Security Agency (NSA) may have violated the civil liberties of Americans by analyzing records of millions of phone calls to detect patterns that might indicate terrorist activity, a bipartisan coalition in Congress today will unveil legislation to scrap the NSA and replace it with a more ‘transparent’ spy agency.
“There’s nothing like sunshine to ensure accountability,” said an unnamed Congressional aide who spoke in exchange for a lobster dinner, a fine chianti and a $12 Macanudo cigar. “Just because the enemy is among us, using our telecommunications infrastructure to plot the next major attack, doesn’t mean the government can sneak around doing secret stuff simply to save a few thousand, or million, lives. We have rights.”
Under the terms of the bill, the OSI website will include a list of all covert agents, with photos, home addresses, email links and IM screennames. As the OSI gathers data, it will be accessible in real-time through the website to “premium subscribers,” but even non-members will be able to view the aggregated data, and listen to brief, sample clips of legally intercepted phone calls.”