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Americans Favor More Restrictions on NSA Surveillance Program

Americans favor putting more restrictions on National Security Agency surveillance programs of tracking Americans' telephone calls, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey released Tuesday. Forty-six percent of likely U.S. voters favor such restrictions, while 36 percent oppose any additional restrictions on the program.

Voters have now become almost evenly divided when asked if defenders of the NSA surveillance program are being honest when they say the spying has thwarted several terrorist attacks. Forty-one percent of voters believe they're telling the truth, while 42 percent believe they are just trying to justify the program.

In June, only 35 percent of voters believed defenders of the NSA surveillance program were telling the truth. Forty-five percent felt that they were just trying to defend the program.

Americans generally still don't approve of the NSA's tracking of phone calls made by millions of ordinary Americans. Only 32 percent of voters favor such a tracking program, while 48 percent oppose it.

Just last week, the House of Representatives narrowly defeated an amendment that would have defunded the NSA surveillance effort. President Barack Obama and other conservative Republican senators have defended the program as a tool to combat terrorism.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted July 28-29. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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