It has been said that we are living in a post-NSA world. What this really amounts to is that we are now slightly more aware of the level of snooping that has been going on in the background for many years. There has been widespread outrage at the revelations made by Edward Snowden, and there have been similar concerns raised outside of the US. In the UK, the FBI-like National Crime Agency, wants greater powers to monitor emails and phone calls -- and it wants the public to agree to this.
Director General of the NCA, Keith Bristow, spoke with the Guardian and said that the biggest threats to public safety are to be found online. He said that more powers to monitor online data is needed, and suggested that public resistance to this was down to the fact that he had thus far failed to properly explain why such powers are needed.
Bristow seems to be under the impression that if he takes the time to explain why he and his agency need greater powers of surveillance it will be possible to "win public consent" for such powers. On the face of it, this sounds rather more transparent than the beyond-the-scenes surveillance that has been carried out by the NSA, but can it really mean "open" monitoring? The NCS's "snoopers' charter" is unpopular -- there is possibly even less public support for it than there has been for the NSA's activities.