Would you trade privacy for national security? Most Americans wouldn’t

“Only 42% of Americans say they are willing to give up some privacy for national security, according to a new survey released by the Public Affairs Council, the national organization for public affairs professionals,” Quentin Fottrell reports for MarketWatch. “And that number goes down to 25% when it comes to Americans willing to trade their privacy for lower prices, the survey found.”

“Republicans (39%) are less likely than Democrats (45%) to say they are willing to trade some privacy for better national security,” Fottrell reports. “But Doug Pinkham, president of the Public Affairs Council, says this may be attributable to the fact that there’s a Democratic president in the White House. The country appears to be more polarized in recent years, too, he adds. Last year, the Internal Revenue Service was accused of targeting conservative groups and, in June, the IRS said a computer belonging to a key employee crashed in 2011, which made it difficult to see the history of who might have been targeted and why.”

“Some people with a Facebook profile or smartphone may not be aware that they’re already giving up a certain amount of privacy ‘every time they download an app,’ Pinkham says. (It’s the first time that the survey asked people if they’d give up a certain amount of privacy for other benefits like national security or lower prices),” Fottrell reports. “Despite concerns among consumer advocates about the privacy policies of companies such as Facebook and, and how much information they can glean from a person’s smartphone use, there’s been a surge in the trust Americans put in technology companies. Some 83% of respondents in the Public Affairs Council survey say technology companies are at least as trustworthy as the average major company, while only 53% of people felt that way when that question was posed in 2011.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: One question: How can an article like this not once mention Google, the poster child for trading privacy for “free” apps? (Gmail, which automatically scans emails in order to add contextual advertisements, for one of many examples.)

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. – Ronald Reagan, 1961

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

Related articles:
As U.S. government discusses expanding digital searches, ACLU sounds caution – April 7, 2014
Obama to meet again with tech CEOs about NSA spying – March 21, 2014
US NSA used Facebook to hack into computers – March 12, 2014
Rand Paul: ‘What you do on your cellphone is none of their damned business!’ – March 8, 2014
U.S. NSA watching, tracking phone users with Google Maps – January 28, 2014
Apple issues update on U.S. NSA and law enforcement orders – January 27, 2014
Obama’s NSA proposals fall far short of real change – January 17, 2014
U.S. NSA devises radio pathway into computers to conduct surveillance, launch cyberattacks – January 15, 2014
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Ex-NSA chief calls for Obama to reject commission’s recommendations to rein in NSA surveillance – December 30, 2013
Report: U.S. NSA intercepts computers during shipping to install surveillance malware – December 30, 2013


    1. George Orwell, in <Nineteen Eighty-Four, depicted a world perfected by totalitarianism, one in which bureaucrats sat at their desks and watched your every move; getting to know you rather well, and calling you in for a chat should you exhibit signs of deviance. Conformity was made the supreme virtue. Wars were staged for purposes of psychological manipulation and crowd control. Language itself was repurposed to script social interactions and stymie critical thinking.

      The removal of privacy and other protections, using fear as a crowbar, inevitably empowered soulless corporate governance and led to the suppression of individualism. MDN is always quoting Franklin on this, and rightly so. Beware the fear mongers.

        1. @Road Warrior

          There is little doubt that the US has engaged in reprehensible activities throughout its fledgling existence. A clear-eyed gull, circling above the civic landscape for a few fleeting decades, would affirm that; but it would also be duty-bound to report unspeakable atrocities on the part of other tribes beyond our sphere.

          I don’t mean to imply you are being unfair; to the contrary you have expressed hope for recovery of the US moral compass, if it ever had one. The US, being so new compared to other places on Earth, can mayhap make up for its stumbles readily. But that all depends on us voters…Will we vote wisely next time, or will we continue to be hypnotised by the images projected upon the screens that are meant to indoctrinate us…?

          1. That’s a lovely post hannahjs and a very valid point. My answer will be relatively short and simple but I hope it provides enough insight for you.

            Some of the main reasons I don’t spend a lot of time reporting on the unspeakable atrocities of other tribes are:

            -That’s what I expect of them: Conflicts in the Middle East and Africa have been going on for a long time. They have a historical aspect and these atrocities unlike many European conflicts have not yet been resolved.

            – They are localized: Many, if not all the major conflicts on the planet are localized, either within the country or with neighbor.

            – They are subjected to the full consequences of the conflict: This is a main point, many of these conflicts are a way of life and death for those within the conflict. For the U.S. it’s a hobby, and a way to profit by it. Consider the atrocity of the Iraqi sequel. Lots of innocent casualties dying, lots of refugees. Typical for such conflicts, very atypical for the United States. I mean how many innocent (non-military) women and children did the U.S. lose in the Iraqi conflict? I don’t think they sent any, so I’m going say very close to zero but please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. How many American refugees were displaced by the Iraqi conflict? Again I’m going to say close to zero, don’t know of any displaced American (non military) refugees that crossed the border into my country as a result of the Iraqi conflict. How many draftees were sent to the Iraqi conflict? I don’t think there was a draft for the Iraqi conflict, the majority of Americans sent to Iraq were military or military support, that went there of their own free will for whatever reason. There is a kind of sympathy that I develop when those experiencing the conflict are losing innocent civilians and regular citizens are drawn into the fight. That kind of sympathy, well it’s lacking with the United States in that regard.

            You mention that the United States is a young country, yet it was born from war, and from that conflict they seized their independence, they did it themselves (mind you France helped them an awful lot), it wasn’t provided for them. I feel it’s a big difference to experience the joy you have of building something yourself, as opposed to something given to you. The youth of that country, relatively speaking is not an excuse in my books, quite the opposite. Their constitution was built from the best material of prior history. Building a new house on a vacant piece of land is a lot easier than tearing parts of an old house down before making a new addition. Certainly there was tearing down an old house, but the conflict with the North American Indian was supported by the Europeans of Britain France and Spain notably. Furthermore the United States has been open to migrants from all over the world and that should add a diversity and resilience. To this I will add my own personal insight, for in my travels I have lived in monocultural (one majority), bicultural (one majority and one minority), multicultural (everyone is a minority) towns and cities, the latter being the most refreshing to me because diversity is stability to me. That and the fact that every culture I’ve come across have these great dishes. I mean why fight when there is so many good recipes is beyond me. When it comes to the youth of the country, I retort that the spirit does not measure time, it measures growth.

            All that being said, I have at times commented on the atrocities of other tribes, and sometimes those comments are silent ones. That’s why I state that the U.S. is a wannabe terrorist nation, they aren’t quite there yet, so there is still hope. Unlike many of the other tribes though they should know better.

            while brief I do hope this helps address you very valid point.


            1. I like that you are so forthcoming, and bestow earnest explanations on any serious questioners. One who cares not, would not spare the time.

      1. Xactly.
        Who wants Richard Burton sticking his rat in your face….?

        To rant seriously, the purveyors of Political Correctness ARE the seed bearers for a Thought Police.

            1. Ever the didactic, botvinnik! True enough, the man did not use doublespeak in his book, yet his ideas engendered that term as well as a host of other derivations, all hoping to build a complete lexicon of oppression, formidable enough to help stop the bastards from taking over our thinking and our lives.

  1. To Quote from Steppenwolf’s John Kay in a song called Monster
    “And though the past has it’s share of injustice
    Kind was the spirit in many a way
    But it’s protectors and friends have been sleeping
    Now it’s a monster and will not obey

    The spirit was freedom and justice
    And it’s keepers seem friendly and kind
    It’s leaders were supposed to serve the country
    But now they won’t pay it no mind

    ‘Cause the people got fat and grew lazy
    Now their vote is like a meaningless joke
    You know they talk about law, about order
    But it’s all just an echo of what they’ve been told
    Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/steppenwolf/monster-lyrics/#H2J0B7BYBzkzQKRb.99


  2. The question is posed incorrectly.

    Correct would be:
    You are giving away an enormous amount of privacy (some voluntarily like facebook twitter etal and some involuntarily, due to the boundless spying of NSA and its ilks) for the sake of perceived security. Are you OK with that?

  3. Since most Americans are not members of either party the Blue Pill Red Pill bullshit makes no difference. I am a liberal and am most definitely NOT a member of either party.

    I am not willing to trade my rights for some security theater nonsense that allows Washington or any other level of government to trample our rights as people and as US citizens. For those mot paying attention, the national security state and the incarceration state are the places the (public) money is at these days.

    Watch your wallet and do not trust your elected officials of either party.

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