They may not like the government putting up CCTV cameras in public or butting in over gun use, but it seems at least half of Americans are okay with letting big brother peer over their shoulder while they browse the web.
A study carried out in July by Pew Research Center found that 50 percent of those surveyed were okay with the NSA's internet surveillance programme. An additional 44 percent disapproved of the spying campaign, while the rest of the country had no opinion.
The numbers are a bit less disconcerting when broken down into more specific categories. Fifty-six percent of Americans do not believe that courts provide adequate limits on what data government agencies can collect, and 70 percent believe that the government is harvesting information for uses beyond fighting terrorism.
Even with this information, half of citizens don't seem to have much of a problem with letting the NSA continue its current activities.
That the nation would be split down the middle is not so surprising when you take the overall political picture of the country into account. Much like citizens, politicians have been largely split with many conservative groups approving of the plan and left-leaning groups opposing the surveillance.
Public opinion could play an interesting role in determining policy going forward. Certainly in the wake of the Snowden scandal the intelligence community will have to rethink its programmes, but if the public isn't so up in arms, they could keep much of the system, which is also shared with European agencies, intact.
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