- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A growing number of Americans are unwilling to sacrifice their digital privacy for the sake of added security, as one-third say the U.S. government is already doing more spying than needed, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Three-quarters of Americans surveyed last month said they are unwilling to give up privacy of their internet activities if it would help the U.S. government foil domestic terrorist plots, up from 67 percent when the same question was asked nearly four years earlier, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The slight yet significant increase with respect to preferring privacy over security occurs similarly across the board when the results of the March 2017 opinion poll are put side-by-side with answers from June 2013: Seventy-six percent of respondents surveyed last month said they’re unwilling to give up privacy of their email if it would help foil domestic terror plots, up from 67 percent from four years earlier, and individuals willing to part with the privacy of their text messages went from 68 percent to 73 percent during that same span, according to Reuters.

More than a third of respondents, meanwhile, told pollsters that U.S. intelligence agencies are collecting more than enough information already. Thirty-seven percent said they believe the government is conducting too much surveillance on American citizens, while 32 percent said the agencies are currently doing as much as necessary.

Only 7 percent of respondents said U.S. intelligence agencies are conducting “not enough” surveillance on American citizens, according to the latest poll.

Split opinion with respect to the U.S intelligence community’s domestic operations comes amid a flurry of accusation from the White House involving the supposed surveillance of administration officials prior to President Trump’s election.

The results of Tuesday’s Reuters/Ipsos poll stem from a survey of 3,307 adults taken March 11-20.

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