Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University

CISAC's Amy Zegart delivers "Spytainment" talk with Stanford alumni for "Classes Without Quizzes" series.
Photo credit: Caleb Rau

November 1, 2013 - CISAC, FSI Stanford In the News

Zegart: Misperceptions are only part of the NSA's image problem

CISAC Co-Director Amy Zegart and Hoover Institution research fellow Marshall Erwin note in this opinon piece that there are many misperceptions about what the NSA actually does, yet the more Americans learn about the U.S. spy agency, the less they come to trust it.

In a YouGov poll that they commissioned, 74% of respondents could identify Miley Cyrus as the person who twerked on nationwide TV while only 43% of Americans could identify James Clapper as director of national intelligence. They also found that in many cases, more knowledge of the National Security Agency correspondended with less support.

They argue that there is no evidence the NSA is engaged in any illegal domestic snooping. The more important question, they say, is whether its surveillance programs are good counter-terrorism policy.


Topics: Homeland Security | National intelligence | Terrorism and counterterrorism