More Americans still approve of the wiretapping than disapprove; however the shift towards disapproval in just three years is dramatic. Concerns over civil liberties topped protection from terrorism for the first time since Pew Research began polling this question in 2004. The poll found that 47% of respondents were more concerned that the government’s anti-terrorism policies have gone too far in restricting the average person’s civil liberties, while only 35% were concerned they didn't go far enough.
Although the President and other senior officials insist that only “metadata,” such as phone numbers and email addresses, is being collected, 63% still think that the NSA is gathering the content of their communications, with 27% believing the government has listened in or read their communications specifically.
Most likely, the NSA's perjury before Congress, as well as their "fact-sheet", which was hastily withdrawn after those facts were found to be not so factual, has contributed to the distrust the public has over the data collection.
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