back to article Three in ten Americans urge feds to read their email

A survey into attitudes ten years after the 9/11 attacks has found that three out of ten Americans are happy to let the government read their emails without a warrant. And this rose to 47 per cent for emails addressed to foreigners. Over a thousand Americans were polled by NORC at the University of Chicago into their attitudes a …

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Anonymous Coward

What was the exact question on torture?

The problem is that there is a huge difference between "there are cases in which it would be good if X were done" and "the government should be allowed to do X when the government considers it to be necessary". People who aren't completely naive understand that if you give the government permission to do X "when necessary" then the government will do X whenever the hell they want to as there won't even be a law to hold then back. (Even laws are only a mild discouragement to government.)

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Big Brother

"Do you support doubleplus thorough interrogation, or are you in favour of terrorist atrocities?"

U-S-A, U-S-A!

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NORC? Sounds like NorK ...

I'm absolutely astounded by the bogons my fellow Yanks continue to generate when it comes to lack of caring about privacy.

Maybe I'll move. Or succeed ... I have property where I can live at subsistence level, and fairly comfortably ... Yes, I've done it, for four+ years ...

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Actually...

I think we need more metrics on this survey. Like how many of the respondents, who answered yes to allowing unwarranted search and/or torture, are members of the Tea Party, or watch Fox News.

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Actually,

If you knew anything at all about the Tea Party or the Conservatives you'd know they are most likely the ones NOT wanting to let the government eavesdrop.

Use logic for a moment: do you think a group in favor of taking power away from the Federal government would cheerfully hand that government more power?

But hey, you got to seem cool by slamming buzzwords that you know nothing about... +1 for you, then?

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@Figgus

It was my impression that the Tea Party et al were all in favour of "enhanced interrogation" etc, but only when it's being used on left-wingers/ foreigners/ anyone who isn't Christian because they're the ones that we need to worry about...

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Headmaster

@Graham Marsden

The TEA party's is against any new taxes. That's what their name means "Taxed Enough Already" while also being a play on the Boston Tea Party (an event in US history where the soon-to-be USAians tossed a bunch of tea in the harbor).

Any beliefs beyond this are on a individual basis, and applying them to the entire group is disingenuous at best. Most of the people I am hearing it from appear to have an obvious political agenda.

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@Graham

No, not entirely true. They had no problem with it being used on terror suspects (indeed, it got us Bin Laden) but there is a difference between a citizen and a terror suspect who might have information that could save hundreds (thousands?) of lives. When it comes to domestic issues, the Tea Party thinks the government is eroding freedoms across the board.

Also, the "enhanced interrogation" basically means water boarding, and we do that to some of our own troops in training. The loud audio and sleep deprivation are also not that harsh, not when compared to decapitating someone with piano wire and recording it for rebroadcast.

The Tea Party can be lambasted for having 2 sets of standards (one for citizens and one for POW) but even I don't really see a problem with that as long as both standards are humane.

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Flame

oh really?

"The loud audio and sleep deprivation are also not that harsh,"

Ever been subjected to it?

I didn't think so.

And there is a big difference between a Navy Seal trainee getting water boarded and a suspected terrorist. The Seal has the option to say "No" and can stop it at any time. The suspected terrorist, who might just be some guy they grabbed because he "looked nervous" at a check point, has no such option.

What makes us different from the terrorists if we act just like them?

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@Figgus

"The Tea Party can be lambasted for having 2 sets of standards (one for citizens and one for POW) but even I don't really see a problem with that as long as both standards are humane."

You really don't see a problem with that? Hmm, let me try a few expressions on you here:

Separate but Equal

Some are More Equal than others

American vs Un-American

Apartheid

There's plenty of precedents for double standards...

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Unhappy

USA

Land of the fear.

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Anonymous Coward

UK

Land of the complicit co-conspirator.

"Torture inquiry to examine UK-Libya intelligence links"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14786924

Do read it, and try not to hit your glass house with that stone.

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Ru
Facepalm

"Land of the complicit co-conspirator."

Right, right... government intelligence agencies not very nice. Super.

Only in the UK there is disapproval. Doesn't seem like Brits really want state supported torture, whereas it seems a lot more popular on the other side of the Atlantic. That's what the complaint is about, chief.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC @ 08:54

> Land of the complicit co-conspirator

I guess you do not believe in innocent until proven guilty then. Or is that only for certain approved groups?

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glass house... not me

Im just as keen to see that bastard blair in the hague as gaddafi, and bush/rumpsfeltd/chaney

tried

convicted

and killed with fire

clean(ish) again

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@naughtyhorse

I wish I could upvote that many more times, especially after the inquiry findings yesterday. Time to start holding people at all levels accountable.

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Free'm

Land of the free, eh?

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WTF?

America

The land of the free?

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Joke

It's been amended

"Land of the Cheap"

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Black Helicopters

nope

America - Land of the Incarcerated.

There's more people in prison in the US than anywhere else in the world.

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No surprise

For 400 years Europe shipped religious loops, criminals, and slaves to the US, and now the Europeans decry things like this in America.

Perhaps we can return the favor and ship you our civil service.

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@Armando 123

Interesting revisionist theory there. According to my history books:

1. The religious loops went of their own accord to develop their own brand of loopery where the established churches couldn't get at them. With hindsight, they should have been prevented by any means - the world would be a saner place.

2. Yes, there was some deportation of criminals, but not much in the grand scheme of things. However, many people with ... ummm "flexible morals" did leave Europe to go to a place with an undeveloped legal system, but again, it was largely voluntary. However, in a large enough population, it would have happened anyway.

3. I'm not sure what slaves have to do with your comment here, especially since you bundle them with religious loops and criminals. However, they are the only ones in your list that had no choice in where they ended up.

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And the moral is

Don't put anything in a plain text email that you wouldn't write on a card and drop into the post.

But then we all knew that, didn't we?

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Alien

This rose to 47 per cent for emails addressed to foreigners

At first I thought how would they know with all the stupid sounding American names like Wienberger or Kozlowski. Then I realised it would be pretty easy, just look for names that don't don't have junior, II, III or similar tagged on.

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Anonymous Coward

Huh?

I thought about flagging you, but I feel your ignorance will be instructive for the other readers. I think what you really mean to say is "stupid sounding Jewish and Polish names." Why don't you just come out and say it, self-described coward? *You* sound like an American from 120 years ago, when my Polish ancestors were treated like crap by my English and Irish ancestors, who didn't like each other much, either. Do you vote BNP? We don't officially have one of those yet, you do realize--even the Tea Party knows nobody better than to believe that anybody in a nation of immigrants would be able to stomach it.

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@Self described AC0916

...the point still stands. How do they know if the emails were sent to foreigners? And if they can know if an email is sent to a foreigner, does a red bulb start flashing at an FBI workstation?

"Code Red! An American is sending an email to a Liechtensteinian! There can be no good reason for this - fetch a pair of pliers and a blowtorch!"

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Alien

Re: Huh

The BNP doesn't exist where I live and where I do live I'm an immigrant. Also, the in the local language the latter part of my name sounds like the word for penis however I don't go around with the same sort of chip you seem to have on your shoulder about strange names. In the words of Jim Davidson at the end of his shows, "If I've offended anybody, get a life".

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Alien

Re: Huh II

Sorry I forgot to add that the main point of my comment was how to recognize an American from their propensity to name their children after themselves. I'm rather surprised that after the dalliances of a former president the entire population of America is not call Bill Junior.

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bnp...

of course you do, it's the republicans.

remember dukakis - a greek dude ffs he cant be pres.

oh yes, there was another one too, a bit more recent

obama - just look at the vile spiteful racist invective this guy has been subject to since election.

the klan is alive and well and fully *stomached* in your land of immigrants.

maybe not on your street/city/state and thats good work on your part.

but the US is by definition a broad church - and you know the knd of people you find in churches

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@Naughtyhorse

You seem to assume that I'm living in the USA. I don't, which would have been obvious if you'd gone further and read the local language part of my comment. I live in a non-English speaking region and I don't mean Texas.

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Anonymous Coward

Please

Lame excuses, especially the part about being an immigrant yourself--I guess I got through to you after all. And yes, I do have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to discrimination based on religion and ethnicity. I thought I'd lived to see the end of it, but it seems to be alive and well, on both sides of the ocean. Personally, I don't care if your name IS penis, as long as you don't act like a dick. In closing, congratulations on finding 7 bigots to up-vote you.

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FAIL

Butch and Betty Bin Laden

disagree.

And you do have the KKK...

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How do they know the email is sent to foreigners?

The non-us ISP probably gives it away. Just a thought... you should try that sometime!

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Naughtyhorse

Obama isn't reviled because of his color, it's his POLICIES. You're worse than the people you are trying to revile because you can't even be arsed to learn the first thing about them that's not on the lib friendly media.

Just because YOU are racist doesn't mean that everyone else is.

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FAIL

@Figgus

>The non-us ISP probably gives it away

And what about those non-USAians who have gmail.com, yahoo.com and various other webmail accounts, are they assumed to be Americans? Is any US citizen who has an account outside the US considered an honorary alien?

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Alien

Re: Please

Where is the racial or religious discrimination in having a weird sounding name, are you saying only people of certain races or religions can be called certain names because that is discrimination. You need to look inside yourself and open your mind to release yourself fom your ingrained beliefs, it might take time but you'll be a bettter person for it.

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Boffin

@AC Thursday 8th September 2011 09:16 GMT

I think you need to re-read the (other) self-described coward's OP with your Irony Detector switched on...

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@Figgus

"Obama isn't reviled because of his color, it's his POLICIES"

Really? Then how come on forums I use which a fair proportion of USA-ians posting on them, even the right-wingers object to a significant number of their fellow countrymen referring to "The N****r in the White House"?

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@Figgus

Come on, Obama is an ivy-leaguer, a lawyer, a socialist, worked on wall street, rose quickly through the second most corrupt political machine in the US, and wants to put more government on our backs and in our wallets. Obviously it must be race that makes people dislike him.

(Where the heck's my sarcasm icon?)

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Chris W

Do you think Google doesn't know where that email's final destination is, at least if it is outside the US borders?

There are much better and more effective ways to filter than by names. And yes, that would include citizens operating overseas just by the nature of the filter.

Note that I am not in favor of snooping on citizens anyway, I'm just saying they probably aren't doing it just by name.

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Racism

Racism exists, of course, but Obama draws more ire over his policies than his skin color.

I'd also assert that if Obama was doing a decent job, even the racial slurs wouldn't be used. They are a symptom, not a cause. The head of the Republican National Committee was black, so I would put forth the idea that it's not Obama's race they are taking issue with.

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@Chris W

I'm betting all US citizens are considered an honorary alien until prove otherwise. Just look at Arizona.

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eltit

Q: Are you happy with the Feds reading your email?

A: Yes

Q: Are you happy with your neighbour reading your email?

A: Hell No

Q: What if your neighbour is a Fed?

A: But my neighbour isn't a Fed.

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The missing question?

Having listened in to your phone calls and read your emails, would you allow the Government to torture you to prove you are not a terrorist?

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FAIL

You really got it right!!

What people do not consider is that, one day, THEY may be the targets of repression...

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Anonymous Coward

the other missing question

The newspaper having listened to your voice mail and paid your ruling party not to look into the matter, would you still be mad enough at Gordon Brown to vote Lib Dem a second time?

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Yeah...

yes, after the Brits voting to have less voting freedom with the referendum I'm lost all hope for the UK. Please, please take away my choice.

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Big Brother

Just like those Zeitgeist dudes said...

The regime of repression is not going to have to be forced upon the people.

It will come because they demand it.

Talk about social engineering - it doesn't come any better than this.

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Flame

American isolationism again

Their view that people who are not USAans are not really people and don't really matter, and nor are USAans who consort with them, comes though very clearly, depressing isn't it. It's especially noticeable IMHO that US politicians and media/adverts always say "Americans want..." rather than "people want..." thus excluding anyone else from the debate/opinion-forming. Imagine if a British politician started always saying "Britons..." or "The English" instead of "people" - it would play right into the hands of the EDL et al, .....but America is already there.

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Anonymous Coward

Tree, meet apple

I think you exaggerate, sir. But where do you think the xenophobic attitude comes from? Americans didn't emigrate from Mars. Try being a foreigner in the UK for a week--even one of English ancestry who speaks English, mind you--and see how it makes you feel. "Not really a person" sums up my experience nicely. That US election adverts appeal to US voters about US concerns should surprise no one. I'm going to leave that one alone. But if you'd like a vote, you're probably welcome to emigrate, of course (you are British, right? Just checking).

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