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Public largely tunes out NSA surveillance debate, poll finds

WASHINGTON — For all the attention generated by the controversy over Edward Snowden's disclosures of U.S. spying operations, much of the public has paid little attention to the details of the policy debate over government surveillance, polls have shown. The latest evidence comes from a new Pew Research Center poll released Monday.

50%

Share of Americans who said they had heard nothing about President Barack Obama's speech Friday outlining new restrictions on the National Security Agency.

41%

Share who said they had "heard a little" about Obama's plans.

8%

Share who said they had "heard a lot" about Obama's plans.

73%

Share who had heard about Obama's plans but do not think they will increase protection of people's privacy.

79%

Share who had heard about Obama's plans but do not think they will make it more difficult for the government to fight terrorism.

56%

Share who think the government should pursue a criminal case against Edward Snowden for leaking NSA documents.

The survey was conducted by phone Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

President Barack Obama pauses while talking about National Security Agency (NSA)surveillance, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the Justice Department in Washington.Seeking to calm a furor over U.S. surveillance, the president called for ending the government’s control of phone data from hundreds of millions of Americans and immediately ordered intelligence agencies to get a secretive court’s permission before accessing the records.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) DCCK108

Associated Press

President Barack Obama pauses while talking about National Security Agency (NSA)surveillance, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the Justice Department in Washington.Seeking to calm a furor over U.S. surveillance, the president called for ending the government’s control of phone data from hundreds of millions of Americans and immediately ordered intelligence agencies to get a secretive court’s permission before accessing the records. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) DCCK108

Public largely tunes out NSA surveillance debate, poll finds 01/20/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:07am]

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