Ever since 9/11 the signals intelligence side has completely won. And I suspect will continue to until the first major confirmed case of a major cyber attack on the USA that significantly inconveniences the general public. (Ideally an attack from a tiny power - something the size of Al Qaeda circa 9/11 would be perfect.) Then there will be much handwringing over how we could have let ourselves be so vulnerable.
It's easy to find ways that such things make it easier for people whose job, goals, sworn duties, etc are to Protect us, or our nation. Many people join the armed services and civil service (of any country) for that reason. I rather like the idea of our intelligence agencies finding out ahead of time about genuine threats (whether from foreign states or from terrorists and the like), even while at the same time I am frightened by the potential slippery slope of where this could lead if unchecked.
At some point, you really do have to decide whether you prefer safety or liberty. Part of me wants to shout "liberty!", as it's a founding principle of our country, but as a parent and citizen it's very easy to also want safety.
One example: when I got robbed a couple years back (an armed guy stole my laptop), I had the opportunity to discuss the strategies with the detective in charge of my case. A lot of resources were devoted to catch the guy with the gun, but very little to catching the person (or organization) buying the stolen goods (in this case, a laptop) and reselling them. If you catch the robber, it's easy to replace him. If you disrupt the chain at the receptor, you will do more damage. OTOH, if you catch the unsuspecting buyer of a stolen laptop, he (or she) will gladly point the authorities to the store where they'll find a convergence of many such value-chains. This is where most of the money is and where the most damage will be done to the system. That's why now I have the serial number of my laptops written down and all their labels photographed and stored. And all sensitive information encrypted, in case they don't want my laptop, but the data on it.
Having said that, catching the people who support the really dangerous extremists, the drug-dealers, the pedophiles and the slave-traders involves catching who, at the surface, seems rather harmless, making donations to religious organizations, smoking a joint at a party, buying porn online and groceries from Walmart.
On one hand, we may want to make our technology difficult to abuse, but, on the other, we may also want to find people who are very good at protecting their tracks, and do so through people who really don't know how to do it.