57% of Americans Think NSA Leak Will Have "No Impact" on National Security


Americans may be incapable of separating their feelings about major policy issues from their party loyalties and they may be supportive of surveillance programs they don't fully understand, but at least they are united in believing that leaked documents about the NSA's collection of domestic data won't harm national security. According to a new CBS poll, 57 percent of respondents said that the leaking of the NSA's data-diving program would have "no impact" on the U.S.'s "ability to prevent future terrorist attacks."

CBS News

The poll was conducted June 10-11, which says to me voters aren't buying claims that Snowden's leak jeopardized national security. Maybe because they have not been blown up yet? Also, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) doesn't see how the leak "compromises the security of this country whatsoever." So yeah, this claim is hopefully dead forever.

Addendum: Gallup asked a question specifically about the leaker (as opposed to the leak), and found some politicization in the answers:

Americans break roughly even when asked if it was right (44%) or wrong (42%) for Snowden to share that information with the press. A plurality of Republicans said he did the right thing in leaking the news of the surveillance programs, while a plurality of Democrats said he did the wrong thing.

On Monday we posted the results of a Pew poll that found Democrats had done a complete 180 on the NSA's surveillance powers: In 2006, an overwhelming majority of Dems disapproved of the NSA's surveillance program; today, an overwhelming majority support them. The shift for Republicans was similar, but less severe. Pew found that 75 percent of Republicans approved of NSA data collection in 2006, and that a smaller majority of 52 percent support them today.

NEXT: Establishment Rages Against Snowden as Liberty Advocates Support His Actions

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  1. Don’t you people understand that all this NSA bashing reflects badly on the president and hurts his feelings?

    He said he means well, what more do you mosnters want from him?

    1. *monsters. All this needless prez bashing has got more real upset.

  2. But re-election security? The threat to that cannot be tolerated.

  3. I’m not sure why it would. Count me in the 57%. These data mining expeditions are largely ineffective anyway, and even if they were marginally effective, are the Terrahrists suddenly going to go ‘underground’ because some guy who made a big salary in Hawaii said some shit was going on that should give us the willies?

    Like, now that Big Terror has been ‘tipped off’, they’re suddenly going to start communicating by face-to-face meetings in cafes where they pass documents folded up in a racing form?

    1. I would think “the terrorists” long ago figured out that using a sat-phone, cell phone, or e-mail to communicate was a bad idea. It’s like the cold war when the only party not in on the secrets was the American citizenry.

  4. Suppose Snowden were to have been a mercenary spy. He would get access to the info in exactly the same way and then sell it to the North Koreans, or the Iranians, or the Islamic Army of Allah’s Divine Will, or whomever and multiple whomevers; then he would fade away; and the public, likely the state too, would never know what happened. What magic would stop a mercenary Snowden from being able to do what a supposedly libertarian Snowden did in fact do? The reason we know of Snowden is because he chose to publicize the information and out himself.

    If a 29-year-old, slightly oddball contractor – subject to security investigations and whose telephone calls and other NSA activities, remember, could be tracked by the NSA – if such an apparent lowly serf can get into a position safely to steal the information, why not think that it is highly probable (nearing probability one) that the information would have been taken already and given to those with excellent incentives to invest far more resources than the time of a 29-year-old with a high-school-equivalent degree.

    Therefore, it is highly likely that the information was already well-known to those who are supposedly the nefarious groups that justify the secrecy.

    And how many quieter, non-self-outing Snowdens are currently indulging themselves in the bloated, tax-eating flab of surveillance bureaucracies.

    1. How many? About 400,000 according to WaPo.

  5. I’m kind of with the “will strengthen” vote. If some of the terrorists were dumb enough to not know the NSA was monitoring all of us all the time, they know now, and they might not try to plot any attacks for a while.

    The PRISM project sounds illegal and treasonous on its face, but if the government “had nothing to hide” why didn’t they tell everyone about the program in the first place? Methinks they don’t really want to stop crime, they want credit for catching criminals.

  6. It’s true. It’ll have no impact. And really nothing of substance will change about the program. So, congratulations Ed Snowden, you threw away a lucrative salary in motherfucking Hawaii for pretty much nothing. Oh, and watch your back.

  7. I don’t care what impact it *might* have; it’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
    Locking every damn person in the US in a jail wll have an impact and I don’t care; it’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
    That’s all that matters and screw anyone who tries utilitarian bullshit to justify otherwise.

  8. 57% is “united”?

  9. NSA made a fatal error and need to people for infringing internet users’s privacy.

  10. But wait, according to Alexander, Rogers, Ruppersberger, and a host of others on the intelligence committee – Feinstein et al – Snowden has irreparably damaged the security infrastructure in our nation.

    Per their press con. on C-SPAN the other night (last night I believe) they stated that (paraphrased) the bad guys are already changing their tactics to avoid the type of collection going on.

    So clearly, 57% of the American people are incorrect. /sarc

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