Americans Skeptical About FBI Access to Private Data, Poll Finds

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A majority of voters think there should be higher bar for the FBI to clear before being allowed to access the private information of Americans, a recent Scott Rasmussen national survey finds.

The poll, which queried 1,000 registered voters June 6 and 7, discerned their attitudes toward FBI access to personal information, such as social media, bank information, location history, emails, text messages, computer search history, and phone records. 

The following are three takeaways about attitudes among those polled toward the FBI.

  • Half of those surveyed think the FBI “routinely [spies] on individual American citizens.”

Voters who do think that or are not sure whether they believe it make up a substantial majority—86%. 

Mistrust in the FBI runs high as it has come under fire for abuse of Section 702, a provision of federal law that allows the government to conduct targeted surveillance. 

Established in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the provision was originally intended to be used on foreigners, but has been used in recent years against the American people. The FBI has also come under fire for targeting parents protesting at school board meetings and for the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida last August.

  • Only 21% of voters have a very favorable view of the FBI, while 36% say somewhat favorable.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in August said that the Department of Justice, of which the FBI is the principal investigative arm, had “reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization,” after the raid on Trump’s Florida home. 

More recently, FBI credibility has come into question as members of the House attempt to hold the bureau’s director, Christopher Wray, in contempt of Congress. Wray has been sharply criticized for resisting providing greater access to a document said to detail a $5 million  bribery arrangement between President Joe Biden dating to his time as vice president and a foreign national. 

Is Biden the ultimate embarrassment to our country?

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A combined 32% of poll respondents have a somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable view of the FBI.

  • Democrats are more willing to grant the FBI access to personal information without a court order than Republicans.

While the majority of those surveyed in each demographic group agreed the FBI should be required to have a court order to access information, the margins were significantly slimmer among Democrats.

“Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans and 53% of Democrats say the FBI should have to obtain a court order before accessing location history,” the survey found. “Seventy-five percent (75%) of Republicans and 50% of Democrats say the same about social media accounts.”

The poll’s respondents were evaluated for specific demographics, such as geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party. Results were lightly weighted based on demographics to accurately represent the population. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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The post Americans Skeptical About FBI Access to Private Data, Poll Finds appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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