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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    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.)

  2. Red Bren


    Land of the fear.

  3. jake Silver badge

    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 ...

  4. James Pickett


    Land of the free, eh?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Land of the complicit co-conspirator.

      "Torture inquiry to examine UK-Libya intelligence links"

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

      1. Ru

        "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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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?

      3. Naughtyhorse

        glass house... not me

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



        and killed with fire

        clean(ish) again

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
          Thumb Up


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

    2. Ru
      Big Brother

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

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

    3. Andrew Moore Silver badge


      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.

      1. Figgus


        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?

        1. Graham Marsden


          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...

          1. Oninoshiko

            @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.

          2. Figgus


            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.

            1. TimeMaster T

              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?

            2. Graham Marsden


              "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


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

  5. Bog witch


    The land of the free?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      It's been amended

      "Land of the Cheap"

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Black Helicopters


      America - Land of the Incarcerated.

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

      1. Armando 123

        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.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          @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.

  6. theBatman

    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.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  8. hugo tyson

    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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    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.

  11. Chris Miller

    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?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  13. John G Imrie Silver badge

    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?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    "three out of ten"

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

    "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.

    1. Aitor 1

      You really got it right!!

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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).

      1. Baudwalk

        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...)

      2. jake Silver badge

        @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 ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

        2. Anonymous Coward


          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.

        3. hplasm Silver badge

          The experience of any non-Yorkshireman

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

          1. jake Silver badge


            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 :-)

      3. Anonymous Coward

        @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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101

        @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!"

        1. Figgus

          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!

          1. Anonymous Coward


            >The non-us ISP probably gives it away

            And what about those non-USAians who have, 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?

            1. Figgus

              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.

            2. Galidron

              @Chris W

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

      2. Anonymous Coward

        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".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            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.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        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.

      4. Naughtyhorse


        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

        1. Anonymous Coward


          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.

        2. Figgus


          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.

          1. Graham Marsden


            "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"?

            1. Figgus


              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.

          2. Armando 123


            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?)

      5. hplasm Silver badge

        Butch and Betty Bin Laden


        And you do have the KKK...

      6. Graham Marsden

        @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...

    5. Anonymous Coward 101


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

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @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.

      1. Leedos
        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.

  15. Naughtyhorse

    A nation in chains...

    and the chains are inside their heads.

  16. JDX Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    "the results make depressing reading"

    Showing your own political bias there.

  17. DrXym Silver badge

    Giving up freedoms to protect freedom

    Some people can be so silly.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    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.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A nation on CCTV...

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

      1. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

        What, the US?

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

    2. Naughtyhorse

      thought provoking...

      sunday mirror...

      maybe not then

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

    3. James Micallef Silver badge

      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.

    4. fatchap

      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.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  20. Brian Miller 1
    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.

  21. Z 1
    Big Brother

    "Watch us"!

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

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      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!

  22. Steven Roper

    Well, it seems the brainwashing is working then

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

  23. Pete 2 Silver badge

    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!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You mean like Income Tax

      That was to fight the French.

      Are we still at war with them?

  25. rootdev
    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...

  26. Magnus_Pym

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward


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

  27. Blofeld's Cat

    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.

  28. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    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".

  29. sheep++;


    Icon - Nuff said !

  30. Anonymous Coward
    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...

    1. Naughtyhorse

      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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.

    2. Naughtyhorse


      I always thought it was

      'The ends justifies the means'

      same cowboy... different shirt i suppose

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      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.

    4. Ken 16 Silver badge

      I'm not anti-american

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

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

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

        Please have a word with Mr. Macarthy.

  31. x-oterix

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

    "This is a local site for local people"?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    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!

  33. Dave Murray


    Land of the sheep, home of the scared.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    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'?

  35. Beer_M0nster
    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

  36. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  37. Tomn8tr

    The future is not so bright

    I live in America and the way we give away our liberties is insane. The Facebookers give no value to privacy and it is a whole generation now. The news here is intended to create fear and make us turn to big government to save us. People blindly let former freedoms be stripped daily and no one seems to notice or care. We have far too many prisons, and they are all full to the gills. One error out of a lifetime, and you can piss off for 10 years, no mulligans or redos here.

    I have only been to the UK once, but the Britts seem to have it better. Their police were nice and polite and not threatening to people. I was at Upper Heyford with the USAF when the base was shutting down. The only negative American sentiment I saw was painting on the bridges the read "We love your faces, but not your bases. Yankee go home!" It''s been a long time, and it's a shame that the Britts probably don't like us Americans much anymore. I still think of us as friends though.

    1. Figgus


      "I have only been to the UK once, but the Britts seem to have it better. Their police were nice and polite and not threatening to people."

      Britain is not the US, and they have different problems. Nearly 50% of our people get a free ride out of the system, and expect they are owed everything at someone else's expense. That shows in our crime numbers and it also dictates what sort of individuals the police deal with most often.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Figgus, RE: Nearly 50% free ride

        I think you need to provide some backing to that statement.

        quick synopsis: approx 67 million population of the UK - 11.3 million pensioners, 35 million non-pensioner tax payers, 11.5 million under 16.

        Which means we have here 57.8 million non-free riders* out of 67 million population = at most 9.2 million free riders which is approximately 14% - and that is the maximum possible.

        Or try:

        which states "7.2 million: the number of adults and children in Britain living in homes entirely reliant on benefits..." and this is from the Torygraph which is not a friend of benefit recipients.

        So hardly 50% of the population getting a free ride, is it?

        *I don't class pensioners as getting a free ride, even if they are entirely on benefits of one form or another - they have paid their due over the last 50+ years so I am happy to accept that they both deserve this and have already paid for it.

        1. Figgus


          Correct. "Here" is in the USA.

          And I agree with you on pensioners, they earned that over their work career as that was the agreement they made at the time they started. A little side track, but an interesting one nonetheless.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A badly informed electorate

    Doesn't surprise me. There's a certain element of the US population who blather on non-stop about "freedom" and "small government" then with their next breath support policies which give the government free reign to invade privacy, dictate moral choices and generally do whatever the hell they want to. It takes a special kind of asleep-at-the-wheel ignorance to hold ideological viewpoints which are so obviously in conflict without questioning any of them.

    What really saddens me though is that last night, our local news ran a segment of a sermon given in DC shortly after 9/11, in which the pastor implored us to avoid being mired in fear or prejudice. So much for that advice.

  39. Armando 123

    Just FYI

    Many people here are in favor of torture ... to government school administrators and people who drive slow in passing lanes. In fact, St. Francis of Assissi would probably be sympathetic to those sentiments.

  40. Zippy the Pinhead

    Unless ANY government law enforcement agency (Federal, State, or Local) has a search warrant I don't want them in my email. This goes for Corps as well. They can stay out of my phone conversations and my written stuff as well! lol

  41. sisk Silver badge


    My fellow Americans....HAVE YOU LOST YOUR DAMN MINDS?!?!?! What the fuck is wrong with you people?

    I don't want the feds reading my email and I wouldn't trust any intelligence gathered through torture even if I thought it wasn't morally reprehensible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Excellent point. Torture doesn't even *work*

      If you torture somebody, then eventually they'll either:

      A) Have said nothing whatsoever, and won't now because now they're dead.

      B) Say whatever it is they think you want them to say to just MAKE IT STOP!!! MAKE IT STOP!! MAAKEE IT STOOOOOOOP!!!!

      So you simply cannot discover anything valuable through torture. It's as likely to be made up as not - it's only ever what they think you want to hear.

      - I suppose for the Spanish Inquisition that kind of worked, as they just wanted you to renounce whatever it was they thought you'd said.

      In war, though, it's useless - and this has been known for centuries.

      It's only Hollywood that says different.

      If I was a US soldier, I'd be terrified by the way the US Government allowed those so-called 'enhanced techniques' - because that's a green light to any force that captured *me* to do the same things.

      After all, the US signed up to the Geneva convention so *obviously* anything they do to supposed PoWs is fair game for anyone else to do to US PoWs.

      Finally: Osama Bin Laden was discovered through normal surveillance techniques - following and monitoring the chain of people used to get his tapes out to the world. That's how intelligence actually *works*.

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