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Poll finds Americans value privacy over security

President Obama’s efforts to curb spying on US citizens did not impress.
President Obama’s efforts to curb spying on US citizens did not impress. Aude Guerrucci/EPA/Pool

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WASHINGTON — Most Americans are unimpressed with President Obama’s efforts to restore trust in government in the wake of disclosures about secret surveillance programs that swept up the phone records of hundreds of millions in the United States.

And Americans are increasingly placing personal privacy ahead of being kept safe from terrorists, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. More than 60 percent of respondents said they value privacy over anti-terror protections. That’s up slightly from 58 percent in a similar poll in August conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Obama has been fighting to regain public trust after a former National Security Agency analyst last year revealed some of the intelligence community’s most well-kept secrets about spying on Americans.

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