Recently, I came across an article in Slate titled Every Scary Weird Thing We Know the NSA Can Do. Reading through the list brought me back to an article I read where a journalist invited hackers to investigate him.
The thing is, underground hackers have been able to do what much of the NSA is doing now. As governments are expected to grow increasingly technologically competent (arguably, they should be at the forefront) it would be foolish if they weren't able to do what most of the underground hacker community can do. In fact, I’d be terrified.
In an increasingly technological world, there are much more vulnerabilities to exploit and in turn, potential for cyberwarfare. So there emerges this idea of a digital social contract we sign with our government. We give up some of our privacy, and the governments keep us safer in that regard.
This sets itself up for Big Brother comparisons but I think the whole process, if approached warily and cautiously, might turn out okay. We've assigned that trust to our current governments so I think there are ways to accomplish a balance.