Terrorist Threats Sway Privacy vs. Security Debate

    Jan 28, 2015

    The fear of a major terrorist attack in the United States clearly outweighs privacy concerns among Americans, according to a poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC news shortly following the terrorist attacks in Paris. The Washington Post reported that more than three-quarters of the participants said they are worried about a major attack, resulting in nearly two-thirds (63%) of them preferring a somewhat stronger stance of protection over privacy.

    This contrasts with a record-high 39% who, in 2013 (after that year’s revelations by Edward Snowden about National Security Agency surveillance programs), said government should not intrude on personal privacy even if it means limiting the ability to investigate threats. WP reported that younger adults were the only group that expressed mixed feelings on this issue: 48% favored protection, 47% privacy.



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