first there was letters people would send, and people would try to secretly read from eachother, and govts try to read from people.
pro: quite easy to detect sniffing (letter would be opened)
then telephony came, again people tied to spy on eachother and the govt tried to spy on its people.
pro: less cumbersome
con: harder to detect sniffing
now with the internet we are in control. people 'could' get proper end-to-end encryption schemes and signatures, but generally we're too lazy. so we leave the encryption up to the protocols and therefor merely use connection encryption. the govt is now easily denied its spying rights.
pros and cons aside: it's a game changer.
large govts have tried to deny us state-of-the-art encryption (the US), now they are directly demanding access at the companies that facilitate the communication. but the reality is that a youngster with a bit of interest in encryption easily sets up communication channels that the govt will never be able to access: so who want to go private, can go private. additionally the volume of communication is so high the govts will have a really hard time to scan us all.
i think the govt will at some point understand that they cannot (very specific cases aside) effectily spy on us anymore, it is simply too expensive.