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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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Alien

Newton, meet Apple

What's so bad about being in the UK for a week?

I've done it a few times in recent years, and always enjoyed myself.

I actually felt oddly at home, despite being Danish with no English ancestry that I know of. (IIRC, there was one Scot in the family tree a century or two ago. But then the English and the Scots were always such good friends...)

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@AC 08:53

"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."

Try being a Californian of highschool age in Yorkshire ... I got me Os & As, despite the local schoolboys attempts at making my life miserable.

Based on my reality, the British need to look within and get a heads-up ...

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Anonymous Coward

Heaven knows you're miserable now

"despite the local schoolboys attempts at making my life miserable"

Or 'preparing you for the reality of life in Yorkshire' as the case may be.

Not sure what one puts one's head up in order to look within but I'll pass, ta.

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Alien

@jake

Both my foreign born and bred children are at universities in the North of England and they can't believe how friendly everybody is especially after what their mother had told them about her experience of living in London so think yourself lucky.

As a Yorkshire lad I also suspect that what you took as making your life miserable was simple piss taking, if you'd have looked around, you'd have noticed that we do it to everybody. Maybe you were a little too sensitive.

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Happy

The experience of any non-Yorkshireman

- in Yorkshire. You're not special there...

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Unhappy

@AC 08:53

Sir you are just a prick with an attitude problem. I suspect that most of your problems come from the massive chip on your shoulder and I suspect that you speak to people very aggressively because you are expecting them to have a problem with you and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Nobody should have to tiptoe around you so as not to offend just because you aren't native to the country but a prick is a prick no matter what the nationality.

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@hplasm

And Yorkshiremen in Yorkshire, as well. It's part of the culture. As an Adult, around forty years on, I get it. As a 2nd former, from a completely different culture, some 6,000 miles away, it wasn't quite as obvious ...

I was pointing out "schoolboy" behavior, not Adult ... Where do you think your chavs get it? Home, obviously (not that that is politically correct to point out), but it's reinforced on the playground amongst their peers ...

Quite frankly, if I'm ever rich & famous, I'd love to purchase a small property out Malham way to hide out in, away from the press. I'm on record here on ElReg that I would be living in Yorkshire today if my roots didn't run so deep here in Northern California :-)

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Big Brother

"three out of ten"

Well thats alright then, as they are already doing this if you agree or not..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echelon_%28signals_intelligence%29

"over half of those surveyed thought that torture of suspected terrorists was OK"

Well I hope they remeber this when there being rounded into FEMA camps for being dissenters when the banks finally fail and people are rioting in the streets with no jobs, no money and no where to live.

God Bless the Land of the Free, with Love from Air Strip One.

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Trollface

Use the FUD to get the power...

34% of Americans believe that every time you say "I don't believe in terrorism" an American soldier dies... Unless you clap your hands of course.

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Anonymous Coward

To Paraphrase Benjamin Franklin

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

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Facepalm

Please...

...this quote has become cliche. Whatever the sentiment, the power is lost because of the crushing tediousness of the statement.

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@AC 0821

What Franklin actually said was:

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".

And yes, it does make a difference. (Why paraphrase when you can Google the exact quote within seconds?) But you captured the essential idea, which is the most important thing.

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Thumb Up

Founding Fathers

The old guys seemed to have a better understanding of life in general.

I like the quote so much I ordered up an OpenBSD t-shirt with it on the back.

http://www.openbsd.org/images/tshirt-7b.jpg

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Unhappy

A nation in chains...

and the chains are inside their heads.

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Anonymous Coward

A nation on CCTV...

and the cameras are hanging from every building and lamp post, watching and recording their every move.

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What, the US?

You probably mean Brixton. There they'll even watch you have a crap.

http://www.urban75.net/forums/threads/cctv-in-toilet-of-brixton-boozer.237879/

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Giving up freedoms to protect freedom

Some people can be so silly.

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Anonymous Coward

Only 3 in 10?

For some perspective, let's review how British poll respondents feel the government should handle their own children (aka "rioters") when they get out of line:

Police should be allowed use to water cannon to disperse rioters

Agree: 90%

Disagree: 6%

The police should be able to use tear gas if they feel it necessary to disperse rioters

Agree: 82%

Disagree: 10%

The police should be able to use rubber bullets if they feel it necessary to disperse rioters

Agree: 75%

Disagree: 16%

Social media like Twitter and Blackberry Messaging contributed to levels of violence and the ability of rioters to meet and plan disorder

Agree: 83%

Disagree: 7%

May the Great Spaghetti Monster help us all.

From:

http://www.comres.co.uk/poll/509/sunday-mirrorindependent-on-sunday-riots-poll.htm

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thought provoking...

sunday mirror...

maybe not then

plus; do the poll again in 10 years time see if the results differ

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Flame

Not the same thing

Besides the last question which is stupid and the answer to which is irrelevant, the questions focus on what is the appropriate action to treat RIOTERS ie a group of people who are throwing, breaking and burning stuff + looting. The correct comparison to the US questions in the article is whether the police are justified to use water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets on random people walking down the street and minding their own business.

In general, as someone already pointed out, I believe the answers to these questions come from a basic fallacious belief, ie the government would not want to read MY email, listen to MY phone calls, would not want to 'interrogate' or torture ME.... and if they want to do it to a brown / black / arab / muslim person then that's OK.

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Can you say minority

Highly expansive estimates of the number of rioters at were around 6000 people. There are around 60million people it means that it is unlikely the respondents were thinking about their children. More likely to be thinking about how the government should handle the feral progeny of the fecund underclass who grow up to be rioters.

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JDX
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"the results make depressing reading"

Showing your own political bias there.

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Big Brother

Depressing to be sure.

This mimics the people I work with. They believe it will make them safe. I am pushing sixty and I have never seen so many of my countrymen afraid and wanting someone to make them safe.

They no longer believe they can take care of themselves.

Don't even get me on the subject of DWI checkpoints and no refusal weekends.

BB and AC for obvious reasons.

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Paris Hilton

Quite a small sample size

The sample size is really very small, and it doesn't sound randomised either. It is easy to prove an outrageous conclusion in any study by carefully selecting your sample group.

But yeah, I would say that there really are too many people that have this sort of attitude. Around 50% is a figure I would debate, or at least scrutinise closely.

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Big Brother

"Watch us"!

So speaketh the great residents of Oceania. Just watch out for those rocket bombs...

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Meh

Well spoken brother!

We have scored great victories against the forces of Oceania! It will be double-plus not un-joy during the celebrations when Gada...Sadd...ehm, Goldstein is paraded before us for trial and execution!

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Facepalm

Well, it seems the brainwashing is working then

Baaaa. Baa-Baa. Baaaaaaa. Baa. Baaaaaa. Baaa-Baaa.

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Survey results need a small proviso

> read their emails ... review someone’s search history ... financial records ... listen in on their phone calls ... video surveillance in public ... torture ... harsh interrogation ...

Provided these only happen to OTHER PEOPLE. Don't you know: *I* have rights!

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Anonymous Coward

Land of the free?

What are you supposed to do when the citizens of what should be (at least in theory) one of the most free countries in the world simply don't understand what freedom actually is?

One of the paradoxes of a free country is that you are free to destroy it, and looking through history it's quite interesting to see the mountains of laws that were passed as "emergency", "temporary", "wartime" etc. measures in times of crisis but were never repealed afterwards. Governments love it whenever there's a crisis because it enables them to tighten up the noose around our freedoms, and once tightened, it never gets looser.

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Anonymous Coward

You mean like Income Tax

That was to fight the French.

Are we still at war with them?

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Who are the terrorists?

"Just one in five people thought that the US was on the right track now, compared to 70 per cent just after 9/11"

Attack people and property and you harden their resolve. Attack their Money and you create real fear.

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Big Brother

Depressing reading but...

We're talking about a sample of about 0.0003% of the population of a country that is deeply divided on political and social issues, with one of its two political parties and many of its high profile media outlets (well, one in particular) taking a hard line anti intellectual, anti science stance and constantly whipping up a culture of hatred and fear.

Sorry, I forgot what my point was...

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Pint

Exactly!

1,000 is hardly representative of a huge population like the US. They sample 50,000+ and I might pay attention.

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Devil

I assume that ...

The people in favour of torture assumed that it was to be used on somebody else, rather than themselves.

They really should read that small print more carefully.

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Anonymous Coward

Hang on a sec...

I have to call this into question:

A very emotive anniversary as about to happen: Three thousand people were murdered ten years ago. It stands to reason that feelings run high. Add to that: We don't know the sample set, the questions or the manner in which they were asked. Excuse me if I have a bit more faith in the general populous of America and read the "results" from this survey along with this large pinch of salt I have here...

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Three thousand people were murdered ten years ago

Three thousand *American* people were murdered ten years ago.

3,000 deaths in iraq or afganistan makes it.... a wednesday, not a big deal.

there fixed it for you

coffee meet olfactory system

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Anonymous Coward

@Naughtyhorse

Your reply has nothing to do with what I said, I made no comments about the situation anywhere except about something that happened ten years ago in America. I made no value judgment about the value of life anywhere being different in people's perception.

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Anonymous Coward

@naughtyhorse - not all American

67 of those that died were British. Not a huge number in the scheme of things but more losses than any other country except the USA.

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Black Helicopters

The Core American Value

"You're either with us or you're against us"

Americans seem to view everyone as "American" or "anti-American" and with patriotism and character assassination national sports it's easy to lead the masses in the direction one wants with such nonsense as - If we don't torture terrorist suspects they *will* kill Americans. Are you going to be responsible for the deaths of those Americans?

Anyone who doesn't want to be condemned as anti-American has little option but to say, "Hell yes; torture the bastards".

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ahhh

I always thought it was

'The ends justifies the means'

same cowboy... different shirt i suppose

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Anonymous Coward

@Jason

You've never actually meat any Americans have you?

You may want to not make all X are Y type comments, because they are invariably wrong.

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I'm not anti-american

I'm just un-american. Surely they can't object to that?

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I'm just un-american. Surely they can't object to that?

Please have a word with Mr. Macarthy.

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Childcatcher

But....

Icon - Nuff said !

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Flame

Please stop spelling 'Favour' without a U!!!!!! (its doing my nut in)

"This is a local site for local people"?

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Alert

don't tell us we didn't ask you!

We did (after all), and the overwhelming majority of sheep say: do it, do it more! 110V - goeeeod, 220V beeeeter!

ok, so the support is not overwhelming - yet. But hey, growth is good, what were the rates 10 years ago? 10%? We strive to improve the results and are optimistic to achieve 90% approval rate by 2020!

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USA!

Land of the sheep, home of the scared.

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Paris Hilton

Unreasonable?

Someone on BBC Radio 4 commented that "we should suspend any decisions on what people did and how they reacted in midst of 9/11" (or something along those lines) and I am inclined to agree.

Most Brits in 1940 - 1945 would probably respond that the best G* is a dead G*.

That is a view in pain, hurt and reeling in turmoil to extreme events?

Where is the case for 'wisdom'?

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Big Brother

Be careful what you wish for

All I could keep thinking of when reading the article was Watergate, McCarthyism and J Edgar Hoover.

Scary, very scary

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Anonymous Coward

Not exactly rocket engineering is it?

"Almost half of respondents thought the government should be able to review someone’s search history without court permission, and 55 per cent thought financial records were fair game for unwarranted scrutiny."

"Nearly a quarter are happy for the government to listen in on their phone calls, rising to 49 per cent if the calls are overseas. Over 70 per cent approved of video surveillance in public places, and this rose to over 80 per cent if the respondents had children."

"over half of those surveyed thought that torture of suspected terrorists was OK"

So why then is the following statement such a surprise?

"Overall Americans are distinctly gloomy about the prospects for their country. Just one in five people thought that the US was on the right track now, compared to 70 per cent just after 9/11"

Seems pretty obvious to me.

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