I hope this doesn't sound too much like the tin-foil hat view of the world, but this whole business of the government's "need" to monitor everyone's phone calls, e-mails, web browsing, smartphone GPS coordinates, travel etc., makes me think of a very significant thing that Noam Chomsky once said, namely that in a free society, where people can do what they like, the government (or the ruling class) has a strong motivation to develop state-of-the-art tools to influence the way people think, whereas in a society where physical actions were controlled by the State, like in the old Soviet Union, the ruling class there didn't develop mind-twisting distortions of reality because with physical control, mind control is unnecessary. And Chomsky identified this as the cause of the total distortion of political language and thinking in the USA in particular, and in physically free countries in general.
Now I'm starting to think that the whole NSA spying thing, and government spying in general, is a direct result of the lack of physical control of the populace. In principal, people in the free countries can think what they want, but only if the government knows what people are thinking at all times. I guess monitoring everyone's thoughts like as if we were all prisoners on parole is a direct consequence of physical freedom. If people are granted the freedom to _do_ what they like, they must give up the right to _think_ what they like, or at least they give up the right to share their thoughts privately with others.