Let us conduct a little thought experiment.
Let’s say we are little birds on the windowsill, watching a NSA upper management meeting.
Someone makes a presentation. They have found a way to track EVERYTHING people do: what they buy in stores, which TV shows they watch, where they go with their car or simply with their cellphone. They can read the email, listen to the conversations, etc.
Do you think someone around that table is going to get up and say « This is illegal »?
First of all, the secret services around the world have been doing illegal things for years (even law enforcement does it!). So they don’t care if it’s legal or not.
Secondly, do you really think someone is going to risk becoming a suspect by saying « I don’t agree with this »? If it’s not the head honcho, no one will say a word. They don’t care and they are well paid.
Thirdly, organizations (bureaucracies) have a tendency to perpetuate themselves.
Finally, if a tool is available, it’s certain they will use it. Remember when income tax was supposed to be « temporary », « for the war »?
And there’s nothing like an orange alert level to convince some people that they have too much freedom and they should give it away for security. But as Benjamin Franklin said, they deserve neither.