Surveillance fears are causing people to be more cautious online — and that’s good

The fear of being watched!

Gigaom

Almost half of Americans are increasingly cautious about their use of the internet following the NSA surveillance leaks, according to a Harris poll commissioned by security outfit ESET. This is pretty much what I and many others predicted when the agency’s data snooping scandal broke last year – an outbreak of self-censorship.

According to the poll, 47 percent of respondents (out of a 2,000-strong sample size of U.S. adults) now “think more carefully about where they go, what they say, and what they do online.” Over a quarter are now doing less online banking and shopping, and just under a quarter are “less inclined to use email.”

Though recent high-profile data breaches may also be a factor, for the internet industry, this is really bad. As much as Google(s goog), Facebook(s fb) and the like have worried about being directly linked to the activities of the NSA and its British…

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