Kot povzema Nate Silver na blogu FiveThirtyEight, so zaradi zadnje afere, sprožene s Snowdenovim “žvižgaštvom” glede masovnega prisluškovanja NSA, Američani precej spremenili mnenje glede razmerja med svobodo in varnostjo. Še pred tremi leti je raziskava Quinnipiac pokazala, da se 63 % Američanom ni zdelo, da je vlada šla predaleč z omejevanjem zasebnih pravic zaradi večje varnosti. V najnovejši raziskavi jih tako misli le še 40 % anketiranih. Zanimivo je, da se je največja sprememba (proti vladnemu omejevanju pravic) zgodila med volilci Republikancev. Po drugi strani pa je res, da delež anketiranih, ki podpirajo vladno omejevanje zasebnosti z namenom večje varnosti, z oddaljenostjo od 11. septembra 2011 trendno upada.
We generally caution against reading too much into a single poll result. But there are several reasons to think that the shift detected by the Quinnipiac poll is meaningful. First, the magnitude of the change was considerably larger than the margin of error in the poll. Second, the poll applied exactly the same question wording in both 2010 and 2013, making a direct comparison more reliable. Third, this was a well-constructed survey question, describing both the benefit (protecting the country) and the cost (restricting civil liberties) of antiterrorism programs in a balanced way.
What is less clear how much of the shift was triggered by the recent disclosures about the National Security Administration’s domestic surveillance programs, as opposed to reflecting a longer-term trend in public opinion. A Fox News poll conducted in April, just after the Boston Marathon bombings but before the N.S.A. story broke, found that only 43 percent of the public was “willing to give up some of your personal freedom in order to reduce the threat of terrorism” — considerably lower than in other instances of the survey. However, Fox News had last posed this question in 2006. Either way, it seems safe to conclude that the climate of public opinion on this issue has changed considerably since the years closely following the Sept. 11 attacks.
Vir: Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight.