BECKLEY - A recent study shows Americans are skeptical of the National Security Agency's surveillance program and they wonder how much of the data is actually used to investigate terrorism.
The report by the Pew Research Center says 56 percent of Americans think the federal courts are not providing enough limits on the phone and internet data the government is collects. The majority of people, at 70 percent, believe the government has other reasons to collect the data besides anti-terrorism efforts.
Therapist Hamlet Smith of Life Strategies Counseling said distrusting authority is often a part of human nature. He likened many people's reactions to how they would feel if a loved one read their diary. "It's a natural reaction to react with anger, fear, anxiety," Smith explained.
"We can give some of our freedom for our safety, but...you don't really know what the government has in mind," said Sofia Orphanos of Beckley. She wonders if the government has gone too far.
Jim Jones of Prosperity agrees. "I realize that our country has to be informed on these things for defense but I believe it sounds like it might be getting a little too personal, too individual," explained Jones. "Maybe it's a little bit too much."
The study also shows, despite those who are skeptical, half of adults approve of the government's data collection as part of anti-terrorism efforts.
To read the complete study, click here