Wednesday, July 10, 2013

MOST UPSET ABOUT NSA SURVEILLANCE: WHITE GUYS

Some results from a new Quinnipiac poll about surveillance:
By 45 percent to 40 percent, respondents ... said the government's counterterrorism efforts went too far on limiting civil liberties. That marks a turnaround from a January 2010 Quinnipiac poll which found the public saying the government's national security policies didn’t do enough by a 63 percent to 25 percent split....

The poll finds a gender gap, with men saying national security policies have gone too far and encroach on civil liberties by a 54 percent to 34 percent split. Women by 47 percent to 36 percent say those policies are not enough.
So a plurality of women, by an 11-point margin, still think the government needs to do more to ensure security -- but a majority of men say the government is overreaching, and the margin is 20 points.

And Quinnipiac tells us that's a huge reversal from two and a half years ago (emphasis added below):
When Quinnipiac University asked voters in January, 2010, whether they thought the government had gone too far restricting civil liberties or not gone far enough to protect the country, ... Republicans said not far enough 72 - 17 percent; today GOP voters say not far enough 46 - 41 percent. Democrats went from not far enough 57 - 29 percent to too far 43 - 42 percent. Men went from 61 - 28 percent not far enough to 54 - 34 percent too far. Women went from 64 - 22 not far enough to 47 - 36 percent not far enough.
So men said "not far enough" by 33 points in 2010 and say "too far" by 20 points now. That's a quite a change.

And if you compare the numbers for whites now with those from 2010, you'll see that "not far enough" beat "too far" 65%-23% in 2010, but "too far" beats "not far enough" 46%-39% today. Same for the college-educated: In 2010, 64% said "not far enough" and 25% said "too far"; now it's 48% "too far" and 35% "not far enough."

Maybe this just means that the people paying closest attention to the NSA story, and thus experiencing the most disillusionment, are college-educated white males. Or maybe it means that college-educated white males don't mind surveillance until they think they're the ones being surveilled. Then it becomes intolerable, whereas it seemed fine when it was directed at other people. Hard to say.

13 comments:

flipyrwhig said...

In what way do the people answering "too far" think their civil liberties have been restricted? Is there something they can't do now that they used to be able to do?

My hunch is that a lot of white men have lumped the Benghazi, IRS and NSA stories into one big Franken-story about how The Government Is Watching People Like Us And Not The Terrorists.

Carol Ann said...

Well, I think women are getting used to the idea that the government is supposed to be constantly monitoring the status of their menses and uteri, so maybe they should really be doing something about our real problems?

Victor said...

Here's what I think the reason is:
In America, women of all colors, minorities, immigrants, non-Christians, Communists, Socialists, Atheists, Agnostics, labor organizers, civil and human rights workers, Quakers, and a whole host of other non-American white males, have been used to being observed from DAY 1 - BY OTHER WHITE MEN!!!

Remind me of what it is that's different between this President, and of the ones who preceded him?

I keep forgetting.

Jack said...

Victor: If you can't figure out by yourself how Obama is different from Bush, believe me, there isn't anything anyone could say to you that would help you understand.

Kathy said...

Jack, Victor knows.

Maybe this just means that the people paying closest attention to the NSA story, and thus experiencing the most disillusionment, are college-educated white males. Or maybe it means that college-educated white males don't mind surveillance until they think they're the ones being surveilled. Then it becomes intolerable, whereas it seemed fine when it was directed at other people. Hard to say.

I'm going with Door #2.

Pops said...

I dont get where you say "limiting your civil liberties"? I dont like intrusion into my private life BUT where are anyones civil liberties being limited?

Philo Vaihinger said...

Why the change?

Fox and the Murdoch media joined by The Guardian, Greenwald, and the professional left, all bashing Obama on the topic for about six months, the main stream media dutifully reporting (repeating) the attacks, all the while.

Gee. Propaganda works. What a surprise.

Gabe said...

I've heard a couple African American commenters (Wyatt Cenac and W Kamau Bell) both speak on the NSA spying scandal and race recently.

Both of them made similar points which is basically, 'now you know what it's like to be a black man'. It was said somewhat tongue in cheek. But only somewhat.

The idea that the state can monitor you, come into your home (or private life) at will, and generally treat you like a criminal without proof is not a new one to Black America.

flipyrwhig said...

@Gabe, who are all these white people being monitored and intruded upon and generally treated as criminals? Where has that happened? Because there's a database of phone records?

Gabe said...

The state can monitor you with no justification and go through your personal life (online or on the phone) at will.

For centuries this country at least pretended to save that treatment for non-white people (because we were and are massively racist) or white people with just cause.

Under Bush/Obama, cause or suspicion is no longer needed.

I get it if you think it doesn't effect your life at all. That's your prerogative.

But it is objectively true that the government spies on Americans with no cause and that previously such action required at least the pretense of criminal activity.

If we're going to argue semantics, that's another discussion entirely.

flipyrwhig said...

I think you're being overbroad in your definition of "spying." There's a difference between a government agency being able to send Google-ish search spiders to index all phone bills, even those of people who have done nothing suspicious, and a government agency listening to all phone calls, including those of people who have done nothing suspicious, and red-flagging anything that sounds like "bomb." That second thing sounds like spying. Does the first? Even if the government does the first, they have to get a court order to do the second.

Gabe said...

First of all, they don't have to get a court order if one of the participants is reasonably suspected to not be a US citizen (whatever that criteria might be, since none of this process is ever made public).

So every day there are Americans who are having their data collected, calls listened to, and emails read, with no court order at all.

Secondly, at this point FISA is nothing but a secretive rubber stamp. It hasn't rebuffed an Obama request in over 4 years (!). Since 2001 it has approved 15,000 warrants and denied 10. TEN.

And finally, frequently no specific goals or suspicions have to be identified in order to get a warrant approved. They only need individualized warrants when they are specifically targeting a US citizen. If they "happen" to pick up a US citizen's private life during a "general" sweep, they are still spying. That is basically carte blanche for fishing expeditions.

Legislation passed by Bush and re-passed by Obama gutted any meaningful oversight of electronic data collection, contrary to specific goals of the original FISA legislation in 1978.

Sorry, but the US government is spying on its own citizens, without meaningful oversight, and worst of all, has rewritten the laws so that a lot of it isn't even illegal anymore.

Gabe said...

lolz:

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/07/11-3