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Common Dreams

Who's Least Critical of NSA Spying? Democrats

New poll reveals growing discontent with NSA surveillance

by
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Thursday reveals that while a growing number of Americans feels that the National Security Agency violates privacy, the party the least critical of the agency's surveillance activities are Democrats.

The poll found that, overall, an increasing number of Americans believes that the NSA's activities intrude on their privacy. Sixty-eight percent said that the agency's activities violate the privacy of some Americans. Forty-eight percent said that those intrusions were unjustifiable; that's up from 40 percent in a July poll.

Forty-six percent said that agency "goes too far" in its surveillance activities.

But the poll revealed significant partisan differences.

Only 37 percent of Democrats responded that the surveillance agency "goes too far"; that's compared to 47 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of independents.

Also, asked if the NSA intrusions on "some Americans' privacy rights" were justifiable or unjustifiable, Democrats were 18 points less likely than Republicans and independents to say they were unjustifiable.

The poll also asked respondents about Edward Snowden.

It found that 60 percent of Americans said that the whistleblower's disclosures have harmed U.S. security—a surge from 49 percent in their July poll.

Support for Snowden was strongest from youth; just 35 percent of respondents under 30 say he should be charged with a crime, compared with 57 percent of older respondents.

And while over half (56 percent) of those under 30 said Snowden did the “right thing” in revealing the extent of NSA spying, only 32 percent of those over 30 agreed.

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