I think I’ve developed the ultimate in cynical reactions to all this. Check me out.
We don’t expect our governments to refrain from spying on us 24/7. We know that if this is possible, it will happen.
But we do expect them to have the decency to pretend it’s not happening.
What’s horrible about China is the fact that not only do they not deny it - they blatantly, brazenly trumpet it, proud of their distinctive approach. Google the word “democracy” and the police will come and take you away. Yeah, so what? That’s we do things in China. Get lost if you don’t like it. We in China enjoy the feeling of being much less powerful than our government.
Whereas in the West we’d prefer not to have our noses rubbed in it all the time. This is Snowden’s error: thinking that we’d be (a) that surprised or (b) grateful for the reminder.
If Obama “shuts down” these activities, I think we can all realistically assume that the very same activities will continue, but under more carefully controlled secrecy. Just how we like it.