There is another aspect to the origin story of contemporary mass surveillance in the US: Resistance. While most "phone phreaks" and telephone enthusiasts were unaware of AT&T's Top Secret Project Greenstar, there was enough general contempt for the phone company's monopoly to trigger a viable resistance movement that had been percolating within the 1960s counterculture.
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I personally do not believe the U.S. Government is controlled by shadowy figures lurking behind a smoke smoke screen of faux democracy. If anything, the political and social events of the last few years are evidence that no one is ultimately "in control" and that every player is each equally frustrated.