Then:

Now: Obama administration uncovered to have been collecting data on “every call made in America”, 9 internet companies, more…

Officials: NSA mistakenly intercepted emails, phone calls of innocent Americans…

Today, the Washington Post blows the cover on a massive surveillance program that until now only a few people had known about — until now.  And unlike the NSA phone-records surveillance, this one went after content at nine major Internet service providers:

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.

The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues. …

The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

Related, and yet, unrelated is the following:

Do you know that your local city bus might be listening to your conversations?

Depending on where you live, the sidewalks could be recording your every step. And your lampposts and subway cars may be watching you, too.

Once a paranoid notion of science fiction, perpetual state surveillance is fast becoming the new normal. In some cases, the technology is being activated without the consent of the public.