Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

NSA Spying: A Threat to U.S. Interests?

By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center

Special to Yale Global

Revelations by Edward Snowden of U.S. National Security Agency spying have exposed both similarities and differences in public attitudes toward privacy among Europeans and Americans. Both publics value privacy, but Americans, more so than most Europeans, appear willing to sacrifice privacy in the name of security. These differences pose potential challenges to the ongoing free trade discussions between the European Union and the United States, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, where new rules governing the digital economy could prove central to a final agreement.

Americans have conflicting views about NSA activities done in their name. They suggest that the National Security Agency may have gone too far in spying on U.S. allies. They also think that the NSA has intruded on Americans’ personal privacy in scooping up massive amounts of private phone calls and emails. But, in the pursuit of terrorists, a majority will still trade their personal privacy for greater security.

Read more at Yale Global


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