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New poll: Utahns back NSA's Utah Data Center, object to spying

Published August 8, 2013 2:11 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington - Most Utahns support the National Security Agency setting up shop in the state, though nearly half of residents believe the spy agency is violating constitutional protections by snooping on Americans, a new poll shows.

Some 54 percent of those surveyed by the libertarian Libertas Institute this week say they strongly or somewhat support the NSA's new Utah Data Center set to open this fall, while 33 percent opposed the mammoth center near the Point of the Mountain.

Meanwhile, 46 percent of the same group surveyed said they believed the NSA has violated the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Only 26 percent said the agency wasn't doing that.

Connor Boyack, the president and founder of the group who set up his own calling system to conduct the poll, said the results were a bit shocking.

"We were stunned to see so many Utahns oppose the NSA's activities on 4th amendment grounds, yet express support for their facility in our backyard where the results of these activities will evidently be stored, harvested, and used in ways that further violate the 4th amendment," Boyack said. "To us, it suggests a bit of a disconnect."

On another survey question, it's clear that Utahns aren't fans of the anti-terrorism policies instituted since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Some 48 percent say the policies go too far while 18 percent say they don't go far enough.

— Thomas Burr

Twitter.com/thomaswburr