What irks me is people's reactionary "teh guv'ment's tryin' to take away mah freedomz!" to every discussion presented about government surveillance and/or intelligence activities. They have to know that it's necessary at some level, but they reduce this wide breadth of space from no surveillance to police society to a binary. I don't understand why so many people engage in black and white thinking when the problem so obviously isn't as clear cut as the overwhelmingly vast majority of people argue it is.
I'd suggest the overreaction is caused by the government's actions. Looking at the level of lying going on with NSA, and how many abuses the war on terror has been used to justified, I can't fathom how anyone would make a "lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater." They've justified an overreaction toward the side of freedom rather than security. I think at this point it's only safe to assume the worst of the government.
It seems pretty black and white to them. There seem to be alarmingly few voices inside the government expressing concern over moving to a police state. Those few that do seem to be expelled through groupthink, see Snowden and Manning for examples. Even very high government officials who voiced opposition were subject to backlash. Ashcroft decided stellar wind went too far. Bush sent people to harass him in the hospital trying to get him to cave. The attorney general, they did this to. And Bush went around him anyway. There seems to be no line the government isn't willing to cross.
Partisan politics as of late have also convinced me that the only way to fight determined zealots is with equally determination in the opposite direction. When you try to be reasonable with such stubbornness, you don't arrive at a middle ground that's a good balance for all, you end up being pushed backwards more and more. So if the government is willing to go full throttle towards police state, the only response is for us to go full throttle... whatever the opposite is. No state secrets. Ever. Oh, that will potentially endanger people? I'm dubious. There's two giant oceans between us and most people who would harm us, we have enough military might to literally kill everyone on earth, and anyone who would attack us is too dumb to cause any real damage. Moreover, we've faced bigger threats before without spying on everyone. You can't tell me we need the NSA spy program to defeat a bunch of islamic cultists but we DIDN'T need it to defeat the Nazis or get through the Cold War.
Even if it does endanger some people, I can live with that on my conscience better than I can live with allowing big brother to develop.
Digital circuits are made from analog parts. -- Don Vonada