Been reading and thinking about the recent revelation about the surveillance and gathering of information, or data that has been going on regarding the NSA. While it's an American situation and I'm Canadian, its sort of irrelevant because everybody in government likes to find out what their citizenry are doing.
One of the problems I have is the fact there are aspects of their behaviour which makes this dangerous. The first and primary is, governments never shrink their list of enemies, they only add to them. Even in the case of a change of government, they may take names off, the primary list, but only to add new ones- and they simply put the replaced ones on the second tier.
This is part of the problem, today you might not be on the list, but that could change tomorrow. Consider how the IRS has been accused of treating Conservative Groups- its all part of becoming a part of the list. Yesterday no one thought anything of Conservative groups- but today guess what.
As well, what if a person who you have been communicating with suddenly becomes a part of that list- you by association are now considered a part of that list.
By storing all this information, government now has a list that can be used against you whenever the mood hits them. You are the target and they are simply gathering the evidence.