Americans Polled Support Use of Video Surveillance

The study was produced by both the Associated Press (AP) and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Author:
Publish date:


A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Americans polled overwhelmingly support the use of video surveillance in public places as a tool to combat terrorism, and more than half support the use of scanning technology on airline passengers, a new study say.

The study—“Civil Liberties and National Security: 10 Years After 9/11”—was produced by both the Associated Press (AP) and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, and it surveyed 1,087 adults from July 28 through Aug. 15, 2011.

The respondents were asked questions focused on national security and the rights that define the American way of life, according to the AP and the center. The research sought to find where the line would be drawn between civil liberties and security. In addition, the survey also looked back at the impact of the events of 9/11 and on how it has affected the way Americans live their lives today, according to the researchers. The data collected includes:

  • 71 percent of those surveyed favor surveillance cameras in public places to watch for suspicious activity.
  • 58 percent favor random searches involving full-body scans or pat-downs of airplane passengers.


The poll also covered security policies that do not involve cameras or screening technology. The results of that section of the study are:

  • 55 percent favor government analysis of financial transactions processed by U.S. banks without a warrant.
  • 47 percent favor requiring everyone to carry a national identity card and that it must be produced to the authorities on demand.
  • 35 percent favor racial or ethnic profiling to decide who should get tougher screening at airports.

Related