Ever since the Snowden leaks broke, we've been hearing from a variety of people about how the whole thing was likely to "blow over," that most Americans really aren't that concerned about the feds snooping through their stuff, and that everything would go back to normal before long. We've been suggesting that this was an unlikely storyline, but it's allowed some in Congress to more or less ignore the growing controversy. Of course, it appears they're starting to realize this was a mistake. A new poll that was conducted before
the latest revelations (which are, by far, the worst revelations yet) show quite a lot of concern
from the public:
A July Washington Post-ABC News poll — before the latest disclosures reported by The Post — found fully 70 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans said the NSA’s phone and Internet surveillance program intrudes on some Americans’ privacy rights. What’s more, Democrats and Republicans who did see intrusions were about equally likely to say they were “not justified:” 51 and 52 percent respectively. Nearly six in 10 political independents who saw intrusions said they are unjustified.
And, while some politicians seemed to believe that it was only the most extreme folks who were interested in this -- or, as Michael Hayden claimed "twentysomethings who haven't talked to the opposite sex in five or six years"
-- it seems that Representatives from Congress, who are back in their home districts, are discovering that, why yes, massive NSA surveillance does seem to be a major issue their constituents care about
. A variety of Representatives have been surprised at various townhalls to discover that many people wanted to discuss the surveillance and what (if anything) their elected officials were going to do about it all.