WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Despite President Barack Obama’s vow for greater “transparency” and tighter National Security Agency restrictions, only 11 percent of American voters think the government is now less likely to monitor their private phone calls.
According to a Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely U.S. voters conducted from Aug. 9-10, just over one-tenth of respondents trust that the government will ease its spying program of ordinary American citizens – in fact, many believe it will only become more intrusive.
The national telephone survey also found that 30 percent of respondents believe it is now more likely that the government will monitor the calls of innocent U.S. citizens. And just under half (49 percent) of those polled expect the level of government surveillance to stay about the same.
Last Friday, Obama stated that it was his job to make Americans feel “more comfortable.” He added that his administration would look to “revise and clarify” Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which the NSA claims gives the agency the legal authority to collect massive amounts of data produced by ordinary Americans.
Obama is directing his national intelligence director, James Clapper, to form an independent panel of outside experts to review government communication and intelligence technology. According to The Associated Press, Obama requested an interim report within 60 days, and a final report and recommendations by mid-December.
A response statement released by Clapper on Monday announcing the formation of the group did not mention scaling back or curtailing abuses of the domestic spying program, referring only to the risk of “unauthorized disclosure.”
According to its website, Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information. It was founded by Scott Rasmussen in 2003.