This is what I posted on FB on the whole NSA surveillance thing:
Back in the old days, when the FBI wanted to spy on someone, they had to physically put a tap on their phones, sneak tape recorders into hotel rooms, and physically open and re-seal their mail. They infiltrated groups, attended protests and pop concerts, and typed their findings into typewriters. It was pretty labor intensive. So they limited their efforts and focused on really dangerous subjects, like Martin Luther King, and John Lennon, and baby doctor Benjamin Spock, and anyone loosely associated with CISPES (Citizens in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador). And apparently, the pop band The Monkees. Nowadays, those strategies have gone the way of the 8-track and ditto paper. Is anyone really surprised that the FBI is using modern technology to cast a wider net than they could have dreamed of in previous generations. I don’t like it. I didn’t like the old methods either. But I’m not surprised.
This is partially inaccurate. The NSA was created in the 1950s and in cooperation with other agencies, such as the FBI, they went to the communication companies (Western Union, ATT&T, etc.,) and asked them for people's information; and they freely gave it to them. In the 1970s it was leaked that they had been doing it for decades and there was outrage yet they continued to do it, and they'll continue to do it.
My question is: are we really surprised? Because I can't see what the big deal is? I really can't.