Yes, there is deep irony here. For someone who lived under dictatorships, wiretapping, home bugging, and internet tracking came as a given. Walls had ears, cars had GPS trackers (and ears), and every other person could be a government snoop, including your own brother.
So when that person comes to the US and starts to hear about government surveillance, they’re not surprised one bit. Moreover, they expect that the NSA has been recording all communications in full for a long time and that it probably will continue to do so, with or without corrective measures from Congress, namely the USA Freedom Act.
The irony for us here is this: we’ve been supporting dictatorships that have invaded their peoples’ privacies for decades, and now we’re having our privacies invaded by our own government. Let’s just hope that other aspects of dictatorship rule don’t come around to us like surveillance did.
The USA Freedom Act can only do so much. The internal intelligence apparatus has grown to become a monster beyond control. It employs thousands of Americans and now has its own agendas, interests, and lobbies. It has vast buildings filled with advanced technology and it’s not going away any time soon. What will likely happen is an outward “restructuring” of activities, while inward operations will stay largely the same, monitoring and recording all communications of all kinds, but finding clever ways of keeping itself secret.
Meanwhile, we will keep supporting foreign dictatorships whose job is to keep their peoples under a watch to protect us from them, and think that the universal law of “what goes around comes around” does not apply to us.