South Africans surprisingly okay with US spying

New research finds that as many as four in ten (39%) South Africans find it acceptable to be spied on by the US.

South Africa is 40th out of 44 countries surveyed in The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Global attitudes survey, ahead of the US, the Philippines, India and Nigeria.

The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Global attitudes survey asked 48,643 respondents in 44 countries what they thought about the American government monitoring communications, such as emails and phone calls, in the US and other countries.

When asked: Is American monitoring of Your Country’s Citizens acceptable or unacceptable? – 39% of South Africans said it was acceptable, with 47% calling it “unacceptable”.

Nigerians were the most accepting of the NSA, with 52% saying it was acceptable to be spied on by the US, while on the opposite side of the scale, in Greece only 2% of respondents said it was acceptable, followed by Brazil (4%), Lebanon (6%), and Egypt (6%).

Specifically, global publics were asked whether the US government’s alleged monitoring of communications from individuals suspected of terrorist activities, American citizens, citizens of the survey countries or the leaders of the survey countries is acceptable or unacceptable.

When asked: Is American monitoring of Suspected Terrorists acceptable or unacceptable? 38% of South Africans said it was acceptable, while 45% said it was unacceptable.

When asked: Is American monitoring of Your Country’s Leaders acceptable or unacceptable? 42% of SA respondents said it was acceptable, versus 44% who said it was unacceptable.

When asked if they approve or disapprove of the US using drone strikes to target extremists, 27% of South Africans sad they approved, sitting 13th on the list.

Nearly half (46%) of local respondents said they disapproved of drones strikes, up from 37% in 2013.

Opposition to drones
Opposition to drones

65% of Israeli respondents said they approved, followed by Kenya (53%), the US (52%) and Nigeria (42%). China (35%), the UK (33%), and Germany (30%) were all above South Africa on the list. Only 3% of Pakistani respondents said they approved.

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South Africans surprisingly okay with US spying