Monday, May 15, 2006

That Popular NSA Spying Program

by Tom Bozzo

Kristian Knutsen has an interesting account at the Isthmus Daily Page of trying to get answers from AT&T as to whether his phone call records were provided to the NSA and how that would square with AT&T's obligation to keep customer calling records confidential. Shorter AT&T response: "We will say nothing that can be used against us in future class-action litigation."

Knutsen's investigations reveal that my CLEC-ISP isn't participating in the program, which is good exactly to the extent that I don't call anyone in the service territory of the participating baby Bells.


Meanwhile, with much less leading poll wording, the USA Today/Gallup poll found the public far less "enthusiastic" about the NSA program than the WaPo results that electrified portions of the right blogosphere.

Here's the main item, following a fairly typical "how close have you been following the issue" setup question:

3. Based on what you have heard or read about this program to collect phone records, would you say you approve or disapprove of this government program?
Approve Disapprove No opinion
2006 May 12-13 43 51 6

That large minority law-and-order contingent is present in both polls. But this suggests that the weak "acceptability" from WaPo is something less than support. It's also worth noting that as of this poll, 32% of respondents reported not having closely followed the story (including 12% "not at all").

Meanwhile, via Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher takes a look at the WaPo's pollster's history at Firedoglake.
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