Pew Research just released a new study that proves a majority of Americans are completely fine with having every part of their banal lives fed into the data-mining maw of the U.S. Government Technology Complex. If 56% of voters elected a president, we'd call it a landslide.
But only 27% of Americans are paying close attention to the NSA surveillance scandal. So a lot of people who approve what's happening also have no idea what's happening. This is generally true of everything, but the level of engagement with the Prism Outrage is especially low. Once the "story gets out" that Edward Snowden looked at a picture of a naked girl once or "has too many LEGO sets" or whatever, people may become more interested in the story.
As with most news stories, interest is far higher among older Americans than the young: one-in-three (33%) Americans ages 50-and-older are following news about the government tracking phone records very closely. Among those ages 18-29, just 12% are following very closely, while 56% say they are not following closely at all.
Attention to these stories is higher among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents: 32% are following reports about the government tracking phone records very closely, compared with 24% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. The partisan gap in interest is almost identical when it comes to reports about government collecting email and other online information: 30% of Republicans and Republican-leaners are following very closely compared with 20% of Democrats and Democratic-leaners.
So, once again, young people are intentionally dumb. And the people who support the current administration—Democrats, for now—are not interested in the scandal because Obama is the embodiment of hope and change. Look at how he "changed" George W. Bush's wholesale illegal spying on Americans to make it even worse! And look how we all "hope" there's some way out of this tech-robot-death spiral.
[Photo by Getty Images.]