74% of Americans Don’t Believe They Have To Give Up Privacy for Security

By Paul Lagarde | July 1, 2014 | 4:37 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) --Seventy-four percent of Americans across the ideological spectrum believe they don’t need to give up their privacy and freedom in order to be safe from terrorism, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

This view is shared across all seven political categorizations ranging from “steadfast conservatives” to “solid liberals,” making it one of the rare issues that a large majority of Americans can agree on.

Eighty percent of those Pew identified as “steadfast conservatives” and “young outsiders” believe that Americans should not have to give up privacy in order to be safe,  exceeded only by 83 percent of "hard-pressed skeptics."

Seventy-two percent of those identified as“solid liberals” agree.

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Opinion is more split on the specific issue of data collection by the National Security Agency (NSA) as part of its anti-terrorism program.

A smaller majority - 54 percent of Americans - disapprove of this program, while 42 percent say they approve of it. The “faith and family left” and “next generation left” both approve of the program at 53 percent each, making them the only demographic groups with a majority to do so.

However, 69 percent of “steadfast conservatives” oppose NSA snooping.

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The Pew Research Center conducted its "Political Polarization and Typology Survey" from January through March 2014. It involved telephone interviews of 10,013 adult participants.

The NSA became a controversy last June when former contractor Edward Snowden exposed the agency’s massive surveillance program to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Lauren Poitras after reportedly downloading over 1.7 million classified documents from the agency.

Snowden has remained in Russia during the past year after that nation granted him asylum. The U.S. has repeatedly sought to extradite him on charges of espionage, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has so far rebuffed Washington’s requests.

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