WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A recent survey found that the majority of people in the United States are not especially concerned about spying conducted by the government.
Even in light of the recent revelations regarding spying conducted by the National Security Agency, exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, researchers at Gallup observed a decline in the level of national concern on the matter.
“Despite revelations this year that the National Security Agency has been monitoring Americans’ activities online, U.S. Internet users are not as concerned about the government’s having access to suspects’ home computers or email accounts as they were in 2000 – during an earlier Internet age,” a release on the survey’s findings stated.
Just over 13 years ago, 47 percent of Americans described themselves as “very concerned,” while 11 percent said they were “not at all concerned” about government monitoring of Internet use when asked by Gallup for their sentiments. When asked earlier this month, only 35 percent of people continued to be “very concerned,” while 15 percent said they were “not at all concerned” on the matter.
Researchers additionally asserted, “While it is not clear how Americans might have answered these questions prior to the Snowden affair, it’s possible they would have shown even less concern about government Internet tapping immediately before Snowden’s revelations than they do now.”
The study’s findings were released as more questions emerged regarding monitoring by the United States government of officials from other nations.
Two Western diplomats say U.S. officials have briefed them on documents obtained by Snowden that might expose the intelligence operations of their respective countries and their level of cooperation with the U.S.
Word of the briefings by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence comes amid questions swirling around overseas surveillance by the National Security Agency, which has angered allies on two continents and caused concern domestically over the scope of the intelligence-gathering.
The two Western diplomats said officials from ODNI have continued to brief them regularly on what documents the director of national intelligence believes Snowden obtained.
The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the intelligence briefings publicly.
The Washington Post, which first reported on the matter Thursday evening, said some of the documents Snowden took contain sensitive material about collection programs against adversaries such as Iran, Russia and China. Some refer to operations that in some cases involve countries not publicly allied with the United States.
Gallup polled a reported 887 adult Internet users throughout the nation for their study, according to the release.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)