Public Outlook Shifts: More Worried About Gov't Stomping On Civil Liberties Than Terrorism

from the about-time dept

We've already noted that the tide has shifted in Congress, such that the NSA's surveillance activities are almost certainly going to be at least somewhat restricted. Perhaps it's a reflection of the public realizing just how screwed up things are. As Glenn Greenwald notes, PewResearch's latest polls show that, for the very first time, Americans are more concerned about the loss of civil liberties than they are about 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."
The fear-mongering and FUD about "terrorism!" at every turn seems to have served the government well for over a decade in eroding civil liberties -- but it looks like the Snowden revelations about what the government is really doing is finally shifting things back in the other direction. It's about time.

Filed Under: civil liberties, privacy, public opinion, terrorism

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  1. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 30 Jul 2013 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re:

    I like to compare to the risk of dying in a car accident. In the US, the odds that you'll die in a traffic accident at some point are 1 in 84. That's astoundingly high odds, and yet very few people are shaking in their boots when they get into a car.

    The odds that you'll die in a terrorist attack are 1 in 20,000,000. But that's what we completely lose our collective shit over. It's mind-bogglingly insane.

    Just for fun, the odds that you'll die due to a shark attack are 1 in 60,453. That's over 330 times more likely than terrorism.

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