Poll: 26% suspect they've been wiretapped
Protesters hold signs against what they view as illegal wiretapping by the government.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- One in four Americans think it is likely that the government has listened to their phone calls, according to a CNN poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.
The poll results appeared on the day that Gen. Michael Hayden faced intense questions from senators over domestic spying.
Hayden was head of the National Security Agency when President Bush authorized electronic eavesdropping without a warrant inside the United States. He is facing a confirmation hearing to become head of the CIA.
Hayden defended the program on Thursday, saying if it had existed before 9/11, authorities would have almost certainly known of the whereabouts of two of the hijackers and their plans. (Full story)
The CNN poll found 26 percent of respondents thought it was likely their own communications had been tapped, while 63 percent thought it probable that the government had eavesdropped without a court order on citizens not suspected of terrorist links.
Exactly half of those surveyed said the Bush administration was wrong to spy on those calls without a court order, with 44 percent saying the White House was right.
Telephone interviews with 1,022 adult Americans were conducted by Opinion Research Corporation Tuesday and Wednesday. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Bush said last December after the wiretap program became public that the eavesdropping targeted those with connections to al Qaeda or other terrorist groups and had to be done without seeking court approval to be faster.
Earlier this month, he again said that the government was "not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans."
On Wednesday, the full intelligence committees of the House and the Senate were briefed for the first time on the monitoring of phone calls, e-mails and other communications of those suspected of having terrorist links.
Previously, only a handful of senior senators and congressmen were told about the domestic spying operation.
Controversy continues, with a report in USA Today that records of tens of millions of calls were given to the NSA by three major phone companies after 9/11.
The government has refused to confirm or deny the existence of any such program.
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