1)Your assumption that one has to petition corporations and governments and eventually suck it up is totally wrong. It's not only Tor. If you want to safeguard your own communications, you could setup an SSH tunnel between two BSD/Linux hosts and as long as you (or somebody you trust) can control these hosts, governments will have hard time to break you in the middle (I hope you do not start with the theories that encryption algorithms are tapped. They are not, and you are free to choose, and you have the source code to prove that). No corporation can stop you from doing that to establish who you wish to talk to, when and how. They might make it difficult, but not impossible and certainly within the feasibility of a capable IT person(s).
2)On the other hand, the assumption that the guy who sits on NSA/GCHQ has the will to listen to your personal communications one morning is also wrong. If you are an intelligence analyst, you are looking for needles in a haystack and you have specific problems to solve. Yes, there is data mining. Yes, there are ways to tap into your personal communications. Yes, you could be a bystander and accidentally tapped into in an attempt to locate someone, but this is less probable than you being the victim of a phishing/zero day exploit of some bad arse that wants your machine for a botnet, or is after your bank account, etc. 3)If you have something to hide (aka you are someone's enemy), the problem is not the technology, but the position you bring yourself into. Have the most advanced protection, they will get you, not by means of technology, but also by other means. If you have nothing to hide and you are just concerned that they might listen to you, take your measures. As I said in 1), technologies do exist to ensure that you keep whatever you wish to keep amongst few people (family, partners).
Personally, I have nothing to hide. If NSA/GCHQ want to listen to how I talk to my partners (sometimes swearing into IT problems) or what I ate in the evening, or when I need to go to the toilet, or what I order for pizza, they are welcome. Because, first I do not have a troubling position and secondly, when I talk to my family for something serious, I won't do it via the phone or facebook or twitter. I will do it in person.
So, I wish that people would spare all that crap about NSA/GCHQ listening to them. This is paranoia in the same way that you expect from Snowden and Assange to tell you that Governments around the world are playing dirty. Do you really need them to figure out that they do this? Do you really think that the big news networks are really concerned with your privacy, or rather with the advert they are going to air just before they give the latest on snowden's Moscow hotel/airport status?
Enough with this s***! Sorry, I would rather be cynical and pragmatic rather than conformant and naive.
I'll take truth-telling officials over what we've got here in the the States. As best as I can tell, they've got 100% of the lines tapped and just aren't listening to them here.
Nahhh! If they had the tech to get 100% of the lines tapped AND listen to it, the US cash flow would be different. It's good to develop good DPI, lots of nice HPC tech is generated with the idea as the basis.
Just to get a few ideas. The paper that describes LUARM can be found here:
Some of the things in LUARM have been modified since the paper was written but the idea is the same.
The new system 'Abel' (named after the Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel) differs substantially from the traditional large HPC cluster vendor setups. Details of its exact setup config have yet to be released. However, it is known that the new HPC setup will utilize the Fraunhofer Parallel Cluster File System (FhGFS) for its core storage.
The system will be used for national projects, as well as participating as a Tier-1 system in the European research infrastructure PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe). The original announcement by the University of Oslo can be found here (in Norwegian). The HPC vendor announced the contract here."
Link to Original Source
Oil is not the only example. Manufacturing and outsourcing is another. If only 20% of the Asian manufacturers of integrated circuit/assembly lines decided to close tomorrow for whatever reason, the implications for the US and the rest of the electronic consumer's world would be at least worrying and at most catastrophic for the market.
I believe this is a general trend of globalization, which is mainly driven by us, because we want the cheapest and then someone has to produce that cheapest product by pushing outsourcing to the point where we rely on few places. Personally, if I knew that a product is REALLY only made in the US/UK/Europe etc, I would buy it, even if it was more expensive. Not because I dislike Asia or whatever distant part of the world, but because I want with my behavior to enforce resilience, the very opposite of absolute reliance.
Do you really think that the world has resilience today in terms of energy?