the Intelligence Community is not authorized to collect on US Persons, except where allowed by law or authorized by a properly adjudicated warrant from a court of law. I know people on Slashdot don't like to believe this, and prefer to imagine that the sole purpose of the Intelligence Community is spying on our own citizens instead of, you know, doing the jobs they've been charged to do.
I spent two years working at the NSA and while there a coworker (from GCHQ) noted that U.K.'s GCHQ can, by U.K. law, perform surveillance on U.S. citizens without a warrant and the U.K. shares that intelligence with the U.S., the English speaking countries have a cozy intelligence sharing agreement, sometimes called "five eyes." Pretty big loophole in the privacy laws. Realistically, even if a warrant is required the NSA has plenty of friendly judges willing to sign warrants when asked, it is not that strong an oversight. Also, large multinational corporations (DOW, coca-cola) have substantial influence over the U.S. government so when multinationals fund surveillance of U.S. citizens it is as if the federal gov is doing the surveillance.
The regulations accumulated like that as the result of some grievously bad deal that happened a long time ago on a project you've never heard of.
those regulations accumulated often as a result of the actions of lobbyists, those rules funnel money in the direction of the contractor. The regulations you site for the burger would have been written by the contract that wanted to supply the $200 burger and who has the lobbying power and inside friends to make it happen. You make the false assumption that the rules were written in good faith, they were not.
In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll