A 51 percent majority of British citizens support an invasive “snooping” bill, while 42 percent said the government should be able to break the law to conduct surveillance in the name of preventing terrorism.

The findings come from a poll conducted for The Huffington Post UK. They constitute the first major survey of the British public’s opinion since The Guardian published leaked details of the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program.

The proposed law, known as the Communications Data Bill, would grant security and intelligence services access to the mobile phone and Internet records of British citizens. Just 38 percent of those polled by research firm YouGov said the legislation “goes too far” and “undermines our privacy.”

Women were likelier than men to support the bill, by a difference of almost two to one.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Huffington Post:

However, despite the overall backing for the ‘snooping’ measures, support was far smaller than for previous civil liberties battlegrounds, 90-day detention and control orders, [YouGov President Peter] Kellner said.

“These are early days in an argument that may well rumble on for months, even years,” he said.

“Indeed, the trade-off between security-driven rules and individual liberty will, and should, be something that we never stop debating.”

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