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Poll says most Massachusetts residents oppose the government going after phone and electronic records of Americans

Contractor Edward Snowden revealed secret government surveillance programs before fleeing to Hong Kong.
Contractor Edward Snowden revealed secret government surveillance programs before fleeing to Hong Kong.Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Forty percent of Massachusetts residents oppose the government’s obtaining telephone records and electronic information of Americans, according to a new Boston Globe poll, while a quarter of Bay Staters support those efforts.

The survey, conducted a week after disclosure of secret government surveillance programs, also found that more than a third have not heard enough to form an opinion or are neutral on the issue.

Intelligence officials say the programs, which collect millions of US phone records and a wide swath of Internet communication, are operated lawfully and narrowly under judicial review, and are essential to national security.

But privacy advocates and a number of members of Congress believe the data gathering goes too far. US Representatives from Massachusetts have been among the strongest critics of the programs.

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