While the NSA surveil-lance scandal made headlines in Europe and the United States, its effect on the transatlantic relationship remains ambiguous. Respondents opposed surveil-lance carried out by any govern-ment, including their own. Opposition was generally very high: there was not a majority in any country that approved of government surveillance, and pluralities or majorities said it
was not justied in every country
Transatlantic Majorities Oppose Domestic Surveillance
by Constanze Stelzenmüller and Josh Raisher
1744 R Street NW Washington, DC 20009 1 202 683 2650 F 1 202 265 1662 E email@example.com
Recriminations have been ﬂying back and orth across the Atlantic since early June, when allegations were published in several newspapers that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) had, through a program called PRISM, been monitoring the phone and internet communica-tion o Americans and Europeans — ofen with the assistance o global telecommu nications, social media, and internet service provider companies. Edward Snowden, the ormer NSA employee who was the source o much o the disclosed classiﬁed inorma-tion, was publicly identiﬁed on June 9, 2013. Te issue has been the ocus o U.S. and European headlines since, and the debate heated up once more afer revelations in October that the communications o millions o French citizens had been tapped — along with the cell phone o German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Consequently, the
program conducted a brie issue poll online in ﬁve countries to probe public views about surveillance.
1 The poll was conducted separately from
2013, whose eldwork was already under way at
the time (June 3-27).
TRANSATLANTIC MAJORITIES OPPOSE DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS
In this question, respondents were asked: “Do you think the [own country] government is justiﬁed in collecting the telephone and internet data o its citizens as part o the eﬀort to protect national security, or do you think this activity goes too ar in violating citizens’ privacy and is there-ore not justiﬁed?”Majorities on both sides o the Atlantic, and a plurality in the United Kingdom, said that surveillance carried out by national governments o their own citizens, even as part o an eﬀort to protect national security, was not justiﬁed. Germans registered the strongest opposition: 70% said that it was not justiﬁed, while 25% disagreed. French, Swedish, and British respon-dents were most likely to say that domestic surveillance was justiﬁed (35%, 34%, and 33%, respectively).Americans ell roughly in the middle. wenty-eight percent elt that the use o surveillance by governments against their own citizens is justiﬁed, more than in Germany (25%), while 54% said that it is not justiﬁed, more than in Sweden (52%), France (52%), or Great Britain (44%). Eighteen percent