Sixty-two percent of voters say the government secretly collecting the phone records of millions of Americans is an “unacceptable and alarming invasion of privacy rights
That’s nearly twice as many as think it’s an “acceptable government action to help prevent terrorism” (32 percent).
Republicans (by 74-18 percent) and independents (by 67-26 percent) think the NSA surveillance of Americans is unacceptable. Democrats split: 48 percent say it’s acceptable, while 46 percent say unacceptable.
Views are similar on the U.S. Department of Justice monitoring certain reporters
as part of its leak investigation. By a 34 percentage-point margin, more voters think the government’s seizure of journalists’ records was mainly done for political reasons (63 percent) as opposed to national security reasons (29 percent).
In general, when asked how much “trust and confidence” they have in the federal government, 37 percent of voters say they have a great deal (5 percent) or a fair amount (32 percent). Sixty-three percent say they have not much confidence (41 percent) or none at all (22 percent).
Meanwhile, the portion of voters saying the federal government is too big is growing: 64 percent feel that way, up from 56 percent in 2009. That’s more than double the number who feel government is the right size (29 percent).
The poll finds 35 percent think the Obama administration has been less open and transparent than previous administrations. That’s up 10 points since last year when 25 percent felt that way (June 2012). The change comes mainly from an increase in the number of Republicans (+16 points) and independents (+14 points) saying the White House is less transparent.
At the same time the number of voters believing the administration is more open and transparent has dropped to 24 percent down from 32 percent a year ago. This shift comes more from an across-the-board decline, as fewer independents (-14 points), Democrats (-8 points) and Republicans (-6 points) say this White House is more open than others.