A poll taken six months after the 11 September attacks has revealed that Americans' support for, and confidence in, strong and expanded law enforcement powers is waning.
The biggest change over the past six months is that those who are 'very' confident that US law enforcement will use its expanded surveillance powers in a proper way has tailed off from 34 per cent to just 12 per cent.
However, 73 per cent are still either 'very' or 'somewhat' confident in law enforcement and only 23 per cent are 'not very' or 'not at all' confident.
Harris Interactive conducted the phone poll of 1,017 people between 13 March and 19 March.
The company developed the poll with Dr Alan Weinstein, a privacy issue analyst, who noted that the results indicated that Americans are less fearful for their safety than they were in September.
"The high anxiety, and very high approval rates for expanded law enforcement powers expressed in late September, have moved, six months later, to a still high but somewhat more cautious level," said Weinstein.
The poll also found that 14 per cent fewer respondents than in September said they are 'very' confident or 'somewhat' confident that the government will not abuse its monitoring capabilities.
Approval of a national ID system dropped from 68 per cent to 59 per cent, and expanded government monitoring of cell phones and email, which in September stood at 54 per cent, are now favoured by only 44 per cent.
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