African Americans are more likely than others to believe that the government should have access to telephone records, monitor email and investigate possible terrorist threats, even if it intrudes on privacy concerns, according to a poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post.
“Fully 45 percent of all Americans say the government should be able to go further than it is, saying that it should be able to monitor everyone’s online activity if doing so would prevent terrorist attacks. A slender majority, 52 percent, say no such broad-based monitoring should occur,” according to the story by Jon Cohen, general manager and director of polling for Capital Insight, the independent polling group of Washington Post Media.
Among African Americans, however, 55 percent said those extra measures were acceptable, while 44 percent said they were not. The overall survey of 1,004 respondents nationwide included interviews with 128 non-Hispanic African Americans.
Respondents were also asked, “What do you think is more important right now — (for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy); or (for the federal government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats)?”
Among all adults, 62 percent said investigating possible threats was more important. The figure was 60 percent among Whites, 67 percent among non-Whites and 75 percent among African Americans.