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9/11 anniversary survey finds in favor of torture

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A survey into attitudes ten years after the 9/11 attacks has found that three out of ten Americans are happy to let the government read their emails without a warrant. And this rose to 47 per cent for emails addressed to foreigners.

Over a thousand Americans were polled by NORC at the University of Chicago into their attitudes a decade on from the attacks, and the results make depressing reading. Almost half of respondents thought the government should be able to review someone’s search history without court permission, and 55 per cent thought financial records were fair game for unwarranted scrutiny.

Nearly a quarter are happy for the government to listen in on their phone calls, rising to 49 per cent if the calls are overseas. Over 70 per cent approved of video surveillance in public places, and this rose to over 80 per cent if the respondents had children.

On the much-debated topic of torture over half of those surveyed thought that torture of suspected terrorists was OK, and a similar number favoured “harsh interrogation techniques.” That said 46 per cent of people felt torture wasn’t justified, something that might reassure visitors to this country.

Overall Americans are distinctly gloomy about the prospects for their country. Just one in five people thought that the US was on the right track now, compared to 70 per cent just after 9/11. ®

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