A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy? Secrecy and National Security in a Democracy

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8030)


Citizens do not routinely agree to sacrifice their privacy. When cases come to light that the government has been spying on its citizens, there is outrage. Still, citizens’ fierce protection of personal privacy does not obviate their expectation of government to ensure national security. Public support for secret government operations is cyclical, self-interested, influenced by citizens’ knowledge of political affairs, and related to the public’s level of trust in its leaders and the perception of threats. Polls indicate that citizens are protective of their personal privacy but willing to give up a degree of control to trusted leaders.


Secrecy privacy public opinion polls about national security government public preferences 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandMarylandUSA

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