We knew they could, they said they would.
It is not a conspiracy. The government is watching you. The internet evolved as a magical wonderland for people in government that had the desire to spy on people but who lacked the manpower and budget to do such on a wide scale. We knew FBI agents and CIA agents played secretive roles in watching certain people, but it was ok with the broader spectrum of society because we all knew that those agencies did not have a budget for the manpower that would be required for the system of spying to be abused and used on the wider population of law abiding citizens. The internet changed everything. And a few smart people in government saw its potential long before it was being publicized. And as the systems of the internet developed in the late 90's and early 2000's there were people telling us blatantly by people like Admiral Poindexter who, when interviewed after the shutting down of the "Total Information Awareness." I remember listening to NPR while driving home from a day of work at Raytheon where I was stationed on the most boring and highest paid job of my life. The system had been exposed, at the time as one of the most powerful internet monitoring systems ever publicized. It was supposed to stay a secret. He was greatly annoyed. I pulled in the beach side condo's parking garage and sat in the shade listening as the Admiral quite clearly explained that just because Congress and some do-gooders were technically shutting down the system, that what he was working on would not stop. He would rename it and work it in under another direction, but it would move forward. It was too powerful a tool to not utilize. At the time he was in full realization that the system's potential was not even fully understood. They were going to move forward. They are going to spy on us. And unless the people in the U.S. do something about it, which we likely won't, then they are going to continue. They will not listen to the casual regards of Congress. They will outlive a few weeks of hearings. Now we know full well that the spying could go beyond intercepting phone calls and recording them. All data logs can be saved. All text. Potentially all vocal communication. The technology exists now to monitor computers that are even in sleep mode, utilizing their built-in or attached cameras and microphones. We assume that technology is only used by rogue hackers. We assumed the same about recording phone logs. We were told that only the NSA had such powers. They were going to be reigned in. But now other agencies are coming to light. It is not conspiracy. It is widely reported news. It is assumed that we will all forget in a week, and they can move on.