Americans Still Divided Between Apple and FBI in Encryption Battle: Poll

According to recent poll carried out by The Wall Street Journal / NBC News, Americans seem to be almost equally divided in the ongoing iPhone privacy battle between FBI and Apple, with Democrats and independents favouring the Cupertino company, while the Republicans siding with FBI worrying that the government won’t go far enough to protect national security. The survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from March 3-6.

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Voters registered for the survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.83 percentage points, were asked which worries them more i.e. that the government won’t go far enough in monitoring terror suspects’ communications, or that the government would go too far and violate the privacy of its citizens. Nearly 47% of those polled said they feared the government won’t go far enough, while 44% feared the government may go too far.

Among Republicans, 57% were more concerned the government wouldn’t go far enough, compared with 37% who were concerned the government might go too far. On the other hand, Democrats also had a split, but in the opposite direction.

Respondents were also split when asked the question a different way: whether Apple should or shouldn’t cooperate in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s efforts to open an iPhone used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino, Calif., attack last year.

About 42% of those polled said Apple should cooperate; a slightly larger number, 47%, said Apple shouldn’t. About 11% of respondents said they didn’t support either position or weren’t sure. Apple had an advantage, however, among one key group: independents. Among that group, 58% said Apple shouldn’t cooperate, compared with 28% who said Apple should.

Who would you side for in this case, Apple or the FBI?