PBS Frontline has made available online their program "Spying on the Home Front" [link]. As a computer systems engineer working in the telecommunications area, I can attest to some of the content in this piece, as some of my work has been in related areas. This is one reason why many young people, and many "technically savvy" folks have become more and more concerned with personal privacy and freedom. From what I've seen, the pervasiveness of digital surveillance goes further than this report would indicate, and that there are significant drivers from both state and private sectors for "pimping out privacy", to coin a phrase.
Take for example the RIAA and MPAA. Recently, a toolkit designed to help universities spy on their students for copyright infringement made news. Eventually, it was forced offline. But these could be the more innocuous examples.
The Frontline piece discusses the NSA, and the "illegal" wiretapping act, and the report is factual and not overstated, in my opinion.
In the near future, I hope to write an article, or series of articles, that provide a brief overview of personal privacy issues in the digital age. There are just so many aspects of it, and "everything is connected", as they say, that's its hard to know where to start! But there are already many good resources available to the inquiring mind:
I hope you'll take an interest, perhaps watch the program, and maybe even follow up by familiarizing yourself with the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) and Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), where many privacy-related concerns are covered. This is something that increasingly affects all of us.