Study: Government Needs Privacy Backstop

The U.S. government should create an independent legal advocate to protect privacy rights against government surveillance abuses.

That is according to a new study released on the eve of the President's planned announcement addressing the controversy surrounding the National Security Agency data collection from telecom companies.

According to the study, 74% of the respondents said surveillance programs need that independent advocate. More than half (63%) said that there needs to be increasing oversight of surveillance programs, and 59% said changes need to be made in the surveillance programs themselves.

The poll, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, is based on a phone survey of 803 adults conducted in November 2013. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

President Obama appears to be on the same page, at least when it comes to the advocate.

According to various reports, in his planned speech on new surveillance guidelines Friday, he is expected to propose such an advocate.

Online and computer tech powerhouses last month joined to propose new limits on government surveillance, including the kind of data collection transparency and limits members of Congress are usually calling for from them.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.