In case you were wondering, no, most people in the world do not want America to spy on them.
In a new poll from the Pew Research Center, 81 percent (the global median excluding U.S. citizens) of people around the world said it was “unacceptable” for the U.S. to spy on them. Fewer (73 percent) thought it was unacceptable for the U.S. to spy on the leaders of their country and 62 percent were opposed to the U.S. spying on its own citizens.
Not surprisingly, 64 percent of respondents thought it was “acceptable” to monitor terrorist suspects.
The breakdown by country is where the poll gets interesting.
Citizens of Greece were the most opposed to the U.S. monitoring them, with 97 percent finding surveillance unacceptable and just 2 percent finding it acceptable.
Brazil, Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan rounded out the top 5 in which people were most opposed to surveillance, with more than 90 percent of respondents in each saying the monitoring was unacceptable.
But on the other end of the scale, Nigeria, India, the Philippines and – shockingly – the U.S. found more respondents believing the monitoring was acceptable.
Read that again: More people in the U.S. think it is acceptable for the government to spy on them than those that don’t.
The difference is slight, but 47 percent of U.S. respondents said American monitoring of its citizens was unacceptable, with 49 percent saying it was acceptable.
The Philippines had the most respondents say they found the surveillance acceptable, at 61 percent (!). Just 34 percent of respondents in that country found the monitoring unacceptable.
Nigeria had the fewest respondents say they found U.S. surveillance unacceptable, at just 31 percent. A whopping 52 percent of Nigerian respondents think the practice is acceptable.
The Pew poll was conducted between March 17 and June 5. There were 48,643 interviews conducted in 44 countries and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 to 4.5 percentage points depending on the country.