On Friday President Barack Obama gave a speech laying out his plans to curtail the spying activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) on U.S. citizens and on targets abroad. The president promised to reform the agency's programs, but according to a new poll Americans aren't impressed with the president's plan or didn't pay attention to it. A new poll conducted after the speech on Friday from polling firm Pew Research Center and newspaper USA Today found that Americans were still skeptical about the need for such an overbroad surveillance program.
According to the numbers, about half of respondents indicated that they did not hear about the proposed changes to the NSA laid out by the president. Around 41 percent said that they had heard a little bit about the president's proposed changes to the way the NSA conducts surveillance and collects and stores personal data.
The poll also found that support for the government’s collection of phone and Internet data to combat terrorism, has declined considerably, with only 40 percent approving of the efforts, down from 50 percent in July. Fifty-three percent of Americans now disapprove of the data collection, up from 44 percent in July.
There is also a lack of confidence among Americans that the changes will even have any impact. Of those who at least heard a little of the proposals, only 21 percent believe it will make a difference and 73 percent do not. Around 13 percent of those same respondents said that the proposed changes will make it difficult for the government to fight terrorism, while 79 percent said it will make no difference.
The poll was conducted Jan. 15-19 and surveyed 1,504 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.