Mentioning the goal of terrorism also affects the level of public support. When the surveillance was described as “part of anti-terrorism efforts” it garnered 9% more support than when this goal was not mentioned.
Describing the government as collecting metadata, such as the date, time, phone numbers and email addresses, drew more approval than when the program was described as collecting the actual recordings of phone calls or the text of emails.
By contrast, the distinction between a program targeting phone communications and email communications appears to have no effect. There was almost the same reaction when a program was described as monitoring phone calls as when it was described as monitoring email communication.