UK attitude towards monitoring of internet and mobile communications is surprisingly tolerant

I wonder if you can help me make sense of this.

I came across a survey by YouGov for Amnesty International, published earlier this month, about the attitudes of people from 13 countries* towards government surveillance. According to this data, UK residents are more likely than the (study’s) average to support mass surveillance by government of their Internet and mobile phone communications, including by the US government. The only country consistently more tolerant than the UK is the Philippines.


In this survey, UK respondents are also the most likely to agree that technology companies should provide the government access to secure internet communications such as emails, messages, or social media activity.


I am really struggling to make sense of this ‘permissive attitude’, and wonder if this extends towards collection for commercial purposes. What are your thoughts? And are you aware of other international comparisons about attitudes towards generalised data collection?

* The countries are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United States and the UK.

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