The first is the amount of effort it takes to get very basic level of information regarding NSA activities, even when those activities are known to exist. A "secret national security court" determines whether the laws voted on by Congress are constitutional? Good information is paramount in developing good opinions. It would certainly be unwise to inform parties that have been wiretapped, but ballpark estimates of how many people are wiretapped and with what level of intrusiveness are necessary to really form an opinion.
Second, there is a surprising level of apathy on both sides. Of course most people would object to a secret court to resolve questions of government power, if asked, but no one seems to consider this a question worth debating. I see some editorials explaining that warrantless wire taps are an unfortunately necessary tool in modern law enforcement, but these seem to focus on explaining why the taps really aren't a huge deal, or why the airport scanners are not really invasive, but never why they are positive steps in the right direction, actions to be applauded.
These two properties combine in an unfortunate feedback loop: it takes an inordinate amount of effort to obtain reliable information on programs such as this, and without enough initial paranoia, few delve deeper. But without easy access to what's actually happening, it's hard for the non-paranoid to get upset: there's little to do other than to say "hey! the NSA might be wiretapping, we think, but we don't know who, and we don't know when and we don't know how many."
 WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087239639044409790457753...
I agree that the the situation is alarming, but this particular statement strikes me as misleading in that regard.
This was ECHELON. There were 5 nations involved: The US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
That was before 9/11. Why are people surprised that warrantless wire-tapping happens now?
NSA insider reveals NSA has a file on ALL us citizens.
NSA admits to warrantless wiretapping.
NYTimes admits that all news orgs allow government censorship of media.
I mean, what kind of world do people think we really live in?
edit: found it http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/us/politics/latest-word-on...
I mean, the nerve.
EDIT: I am aware that certain provisions regarding Congressional insider trading have been closed; however, this did not occur until 60 Minutes raised the issue nationally.
Unless you live in NYC, in which case it's an explicitly condoned policy of the NYPD and the city government.
Most definitely unconstitutional, but since it's targeted exclusively at poor minorities, the odds of it ever it getting enough legal playtime is slim.
I know the NYPD is demanding that people empty their pockets. But you can respond to that demand with a polite refusal, like "I do not consent to any search". Similarly, the police (everywhere) will routinely "demand" that you open your trunk; it's happened to me several times, and while they sure as hell do get pissy when you say "I do not consent to a search of my car", they will eventually back off.
I've read the General Orders for the Chicago PD, but not NYPD's, and consistent with the "Terry Stop" doctrine, the Chicago Police cannot search pockets without probable cause (which is to say, they can't randomly stop people and reach into their pockets).
A much bigger problem with "Stop & Frisk" is that most people will casually waive their rights and, more importantly, will not have the wherewithal to fight a charge (especially not a petty charge) over chain of evidence issues.
I have some hope, since people have been fighting for years to repeal the heavily racially-biased 'open to public view' loophole in New York's marijuana laws, and Cuomo and Bloomberg recently voiced support for it (though it was right before the end of the session, so take that for what it's worth).
(For those not familiar with the loophole: in New York, possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana is a civil citation (think speeding ticket) and not a criminal offense. Despite this, NYC arrests more people per capita and by volume for marijuana possession than any other city in the entire world.
Why? Because having marijuana either burning or 'open to public view' is a Class B misdemeanor. So when the policeman says 'Empty your pockets for me; I know what's in there', he's essentially giving the victim an opportunity to incriminate himself for a misdemeanor that gets 90 days in jail, as opposed to a $100 fine with no arrest record.)
 Disclaimer: I'm actually not 100% sure how public the records for possession citations are; New York does this differently from Massachusetts, which passed a much more sensible law in 2008.
If there's anything in your pockets that feels like it might be a weapon of any kind, he can then retrieve it, even if turning your pockets inside out from the start might not be allowed.
Realistically, carrying anything larger than a sheet of paper -- like keys and a cell phone -- will mean that the officer will usually get away with rifling through your pockets.
If such private information were encrypted by default it would put a sizeable dent into their pocket book.
1) You do not need cooperation of those services if you sit on the network in between the end-user and the service. We know that the NSA does.
2) Securing cooperation does not require a warrant. Information can be requested by the FBI using a National Security Letter, without a warrant, simultaneously collecting information while gagging the service provider from informing the customer their information was collected.
3) Any person's communications can be wiretapped by court order from the FISA court, separate from our normal court system. The FISA court judges see only evidence from the Department of Justice, and no information about their hearings is ever released or even recorded. Between 1979 and 2009, the FISA court has only declined to issue a court order for surveillance 11 times out of thousands.
2) Wikipedia says that "from 2003 to 2006 the bureau issued 192,499 national security letter requests". That's a long shot from the mass surveillance affecting "millions of Americans" (from this article), or the NSA having "a dossier on every citizen" (recently here, as well).
3) Good point.
It is time to leave. The writing is on the wall.
Beware normalcy bias. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normalcy_bias
You must gather your possessions and your family, and move your business and self to another soverign state which respects its constitution and courts.
Where will you hide? The boogey man is going to come find you and get you no matter where you go.
Is your big concern really whether women are getting abortions? That's the guy that is going to save from the boogey man? I don't think you're safe either. :)
At the end of the day, this is a social issue not a technological one. Our only hope is to hold our leaders accountable and help saner heads to prevail.
very bandwidth heavy though.
There's always the Mixmaster type-2 remailer network, though its current state seems to be in neglect. It's a shame the 90s-era cypherpunks haven't moved on to build more visible tools for protecting privacy,