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U.S. is spying on its citizens and others

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First, the NSA obviously has complete access to everything on Google, Facebook, Twitter, your cell phone, etc. So no, the companies don't have more than the NSA, because the NSA has everything all the companies have, put together.

Secondly, it's a lot less ominous when a company gets information about you to try to sell you a product you might like, compared to the government getting information about you to convict you of crimes, deprive you of rights, charge you tax penalties, etc. Or, for that matter, an NSA analyst using the data to stalk an ex, or sell the data to a foreign government.

The motives of private companies are easy to understand and not very sinister - they want money. Governments and their intelligence agencies, on the other hand, want absolute power and control.

Problem is theres no real reason to treat the government and private corps as separate entities anymore. Its basically the same bunch of folks.

We need new laws to protect us from all these people... Problem is the folks that make the laws are those same corporations and politicians, so our descent into some kind of Orweilian surveillance state is probably inevitable.

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