(RightWing.org) – Spying has been a fact of life since before the Roman Empire. Throughout history, countries have collected information about their enemies, rivals and even friends. You expect hostile foreign regimes to try to find out all they can about the US and its inhabitants. However, most Americans are now more worried that they’re being spied on by their own government.
A new poll by Rasmussen Reports has found that a large majority of Americans — 74% of likely voters — fear the government’s increasing enthusiasm for spying on US citizens; that includes 49% who say they’re “very concerned.” Just 25% aren’t worried about the issue. Meanwhile, 82% are worried about spying by foreign governments, and the 52% of those are “very concerned.”
Worries about government spying stretch across the political spectrum. While Republicans are more likely to be concerned — 89% of them fear federal snoops — a significant majority of Democrats share their concerns; 66% of liberals said they’re worried about the issue. It’s easy to see where these worries come from; the US government has been spying on Americans for years, and technology makes it easier to expand the net.
Although fear of government spying is a bipartisan issue, there’s some good news for the GOP in all this. Rasmussen also asked respondents who they trusted more with national security, and the Republicans have a slight edge — 45% trust them more, compared with 41% for the Democrats. There’s a strong partisan element to this, but even so, conservatives definitely seem to have more confidence in their party’s ability to keep us safe — 85% of GOP voters trust the party on this issue, compared to 79% of Democrats. The problem is that while most Americans trust at least one of the parties to keep an eye on our enemies, just as many are worried that they’re keeping an eye on us, too.
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