Nightly News   |  June 07, 2013

Americans speak out on NSA surveillance

Reactions to the news that the government has been collecting records of Americans’ everyday activities were wide-ranging, from concerns that officials are overreaching to outright indifference. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> thank you. americans weighed in on the controversy today. john yang has the story tonight.

>> reporter: from chicago's michigan avenue --

>> it's getting scary.

>> reporter: to fred's texas cafe in ft. worth.

>> i completely honestly do not care.

>> reporter: to downtown los angeles .

>> i think the government is overreaching.

>> reporter: people have plenty to say fuelled by fresh disclosures. critics see it as a question of civil liberties and privacy.

>> there should be some surveillance, but not like that.

>> whoever we want to call, that's our business.

>> there's a balance between security and liberty. liberty seems to usually take it on the chin.

>> reporter: on twitter today nsa was still trending. i think we have no freedom. george orwell come to life. others say it is a price they are willing to pay for preventing a terrorist attack .

>> i would be glad if we stopped one terrorist.

>> it doesn't bother me a lot.

>> reporter: in an age of security cameras , speed cameras , and devices that leave digital trails, some say it's no surprise that all that information might get scooped up. even before the data collection was disclosed a new all-state national journal poll found 85% of americans said it was likely their phone calls , e-mails and internet use was available to others, including the government, without their consent.

>> facebook, twitter, myspace. there's going to be a point where we don't have privacy anymore.

>> reporter: on twitter, i already thought had been happening since 9/11. i've nothing to hide. some used it for a laugh. i wish the nsa would show my phone records to my mom. i call plenty. finding humor in a serious issue that's rekindling the long simmering debate over privacy versus security. john yang , nbc news, chicago.