Former NSA employee William Binney originally exposed the NSA program of collecting and storing data of average Americans, in order to go back into it later if needed, like a google search. Although he was dragged through the mud, he was eventually never convicted of any crime. In the following video he reveals the extent of the online surveillance, and how far things have already gone.
Essentially he alerts us to the fact that the U.S. government is currently and continuously storing massive amounts of data, email, texts, etc. in a database. The government can then go back to this database and look up an individual, an email address, a communication of a certain type, from a certain area, or anything really. When asked if anything has changed since these operations were discovered under the Bush administration, Binney said “The change is that it’s getting worse, they’re doing more”.