"The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to." - Edward Snowden
When any government starts granting itself unlimited powers, this kind of thing will keep happening. Whether it's surveillance, suppressing political dissent, chilling free speech or controlling economic interests.
Democratic representation becomes lost and illusionary.
Edward Snowden did not vote for Obama.
Edward Snowden: "A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama's promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor."
Also it's not just 'cameras' but more ubiquitous sensors that provide surveillance data, increasingly embedded in the devices you use in everyday life.
The problem of data collection is arguably moot. The question of who has access to this data and what we do with it is the crux of the matter.
We're centralizing authentication authority in a few providers, enabling web tracking across the Internet, assisting Facebook and Google in their generation of shadow profiles for everyone.
We're building web apps and web services that require server side data storage of user information, creating treasure troves of data. The network effects of what we're doing make it consistently harder and harder for users to avoid putting their data, identity, and 'meta-data' about their actions into the hands of 3rd parties.
Centralized phone companies have provided a case study in the ease at which governments can subvert centralized commercial entities, and even make the relationship between commercial entities and the government a lucrative symbiotic one.
We technologists are building the big brother state in the name of 'the cloud' and 'analytics'. We'vs convinced ourselves that webapps mean more freedom, rather than less privacy. We've gleefully abandoned the cyberpunk privacy tenants of the 90s that would have causes many to recoil at the very idea of analytics, Ubuntu's sending desktop searches to Amazon, and centralized monitoring of literally every tap and button press on a mobile device.
We're making it harder and harder for users to escape this orbit of commercial industrial governmental spying, because technology is so wonderously and necessarily pervasive, and the network effects to what we build are so strong.
If users are going to escape this future of governmental techno spying, we must change now. It will be up to us to provide the tools, and find alternative solutions to the deaf to centralized spying apparatus.