"I mean, it could be that the great fairyland dragon from the 6th dimension dreamed up the Snowden documents and then gave them to Russia and China."
Well, umm, uhh, we don't want to make conjectures about the fairyland dragon's intentions. All we know is that we leave the offerings of marshmallows and virgins' blood and the stories come to us fully written. I wouldn't know what the fairyland dragon actually did, the government didn't write that bit for us.
Ooh, Worst-Case Scenario, the Home Version, I love this game!! My turn.
What happens when, in case 1 or 2, the cop performing the search is too busy violating his oath and the citizen's rights to notice the bug meteor that is heading their way? His diverted attention allows the meteor to continue unimpeded, and when it strikes the ground it vaporizes 3 million soup kitchen workers and one very unfortunate alpaca named Constance. Sadly, the illegally detained citizen was a super scientist who was seconds from finishing his anti-meteor shield, and had he been able to get to his lab on time we would have been spared this horrible, alpaca-rending fate.
I'll always win this game, because your vision of unreality is too limted.
Once upon a time, I got an iPod. It was shiny and new, held a lot of music, and the earbuds were both physically and acoustically painful, appealing to my masochistic streak.
One day, I wanted to plug my iPod into my work computer to listen to some tunes through my powered speakers. iTunes, which I had installed on my work computer expressly for this purpose, told me I'd need to wipe my iPod if I wanted to pair it with my work computer. According to Apple, I didn't own the music I'd bought through iTunes, not even the music I'd ripped from my own CDs and put on my iPod, as I couldn't use it as I wished.
That night I downloaded dopisp, closed and uninstalled iTunes, and never looked back. I lived happily ever after.
Considering the level of data theft (err, "gathering") that the NSA has accomplished, along with their physically tampering with hardware, insisting on backdoors in otherwise secure systems, etc., I would say that we know where this order should first be applied.
In a stunning show of generosity (seriously, I'm in Toledo and the Block family isn't known for their largesse), none of the settlement monies are going toward legal fees. $5K to be donated to the Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press, the remainder split between the plaintiffs.
My father worked at the GD plant in Lima for several years in the 80's, and carried a security clearance as he worked on the armor systems. Each year they'd host a family day at the plant, including tours, demonstrations, and completed tanks set out to check out and walk around. There were plenty of cameras around, and I remember taking a number of pics myself.
As the amount of information that 12 year old me gathered is staggeringly superior to what the Blade staff had to surrender, I would like to invite their security staff to come and intimidate me. I'm a bit doughy in spots, so my masculinity could be assailed, and so long as the eventual settlement is large enough I could be coerced to hand over some grainy Polaroids featuring the non-classified assembly areas and proving grounds.
I wish I could give this more insightful votes. Every four years the office of the president promises the world: - I know you've had enough, and you deserve better - It's all going to change - I will respect you - The lying is done - No more reading your emails when you aren't looking - No more following you when you go out with your friends - I know it's OUR money, and I'm going to start treating it like it's OUR money
Then, once the happy glow of reconciliation fades, the old habits come back and we realize that they never really left.
I believe we now have a worthwhile use for the NSA's Utah data center. They can repurpose the facility to store all the info that our government should be saving, rather than all our info that they should be leaving the hell alone.
Judging from the track record, government officials can confidently hand over ALL emails, secure in the knowledge that nothing illegal will ever be uncovered once it's sent to Utah.
Abuses like collection of data from US citizens without warrants, violating our Fourth Amendment rights. Thousands of these per year. Abuses like this same data being passed along to numerous government agencies with instructions to 'launder' it so that it's harder to trace the info back to the NSA.
As to controls, you'll need to do a bit of your own catch-up reading to see how little oversight, much less follow up on abuses, has existed.
TL;DR... Big stinking piles of abuses, with nothing but shitty damage control from the government.