It seems Snowden wasn’t exaggerating the extent to which we are under surveillance.
[The] New York Times investigation revealed that in addition to its complex dragnet of American’s phone and Internet data, analyzing only connections to previously known suspects, the spy agency also scans all texts and e-mails sent overseas with a keyword search.
But these keywords need not have any direct connection to a known terror suspect. An e-mail or text that simply mentions anything related to the keywords used, even if incidental or coincidental, can be sent to an analyst for review. This has never been acknowledged since details of the NSA program first came to light with the leaks by Edward Snowden.
A deputy director of the ACLU opines:
By injecting the NSA into virtually every cross-border interaction, the US government will forever alter what has always been an open exchange of ideas.
This would all be less disturbing if we could trust the government. But as the post-Snowden denials (later proven false) demonstrated, we can’t.