美国爱国者法案的关键条款的有效期 - 和的通道 美国自由法案 - 更新了在公民自由和安全之间的权衡利益。 在何种程度上是美国公民愿意承认他们的公民自由的政府，以感到安全和恐怖主义安全吗？
周围国家安全局的国内监控的争议，聚光灯已经对爱国者法案的挑战，在第四条修正案所规定的权利 - 不受无理搜查和扣押的保护。
邮政9 / 11轮询
由于在11 2001月恐怖袭击后，美国公民都愿意承认某些公民自由政府 - 至少在理论上。
基于 我对公众舆论的书 和9 / 11恐怖袭击，尽管安全问题，美国公民的55％最初在保护2001公民自由时，美国的爱国者法案颁布; 有一定的限制到什么公民个人会容忍，今天就像有。
这导致最近诚惶诚恐爱国者法案（现在已经臭名昭著的部分215）的窃听规定，获得相对最小的支持。 只有35％的美国公民赞成政府权力来获得电子邮件和窃听电话谈话没有法院命令。 同样的， 一项盖洛普民意调查 在六月进行2002显示，只有30％的美国公民的青睐，使它更容易为司法当局进入私人通信，如邮件，电子邮件和电话交谈。
例如， 皮尤调查 在2006进行显示，54％的人认为这是正确的政府监控的电话和电子邮件通信的“疑似恐怖分子”。
和最近 CNN/ORC poll, for example, finds that 61% percent were supportive of the renewal of the surveillance provisions “in order to locate suspected terrorists.” However, 52% said that little will change regarding the threat of terrorism if the surveillance provision would not be renewed, while less than half — 44% — were of the opinion that the risk of terrorism would rise without the renewed provisions.
Without uniform polling questions about the US Patriot Act and sporadic polling at best, it is difficult to show an overall trend in public support.
The lack of consistent and reliable polling on this issue prevents conclusive statements when questions arise in response to threatening terrorist events or to discussion of the renewal of the Patriot Act.
People, inside and outside of government, would like the answer to where does the American public falls on issues like government surveillance, but the answer usually has to be pieced together.
My view is that a slight majority of American citizens are probably supportive of the renewal of surveillance provisions. But it is also the case that the public’s appetite for surveillance provisions depends largely on who is under suspicion.
Citizens are willing to make the trade-off between civil liberties and security to the extent that they perceive a terrorist threat and to the extent to which they trust governmental authorities.
However, in the minds of ordinary citizens, trust is very low in governmental authorities, such as the president, Congress, and law enforcement agencies, and there does not seem to be an imminent reason to warrant domestic surveillance.
The current context is drastically different from that of the 9/11 within which the civil liberties and security debate first took place. While there is no event to compel people to think about what is best for the country, a generational gap in the memories of 9/11 and partisan politics now seem to drive the civil liberties and security debate.
Darren Davis is Professor of Political Science at University of Notre Dame. His research interests include most areas in public opinion and political behavior. A unifying theme running through much of his research is a concern for identifying the social psychological motivations underlying political attitudes and behavior.