The latest spin, overheard in a couple of different places, is that this domestic spying stuff is just Echelon in drag. And really, if you’re not bitching about Echelon (and really, who is?), there’s no sense in getting upset about the latest from No Such Agency.
If I wanted to find something funny in all of this — if I were even inclined to try finding something funny in all of this — it’s that the opinions and ideas of people who’ve been paying attention to privacy, security, and cryptographic issues for years pale in comparison to those of the shouting heads. Who are you going to listen to on this topic: Guys like Bellovin or Metzger or Gillmore, or some random dude with a blog who misrepresented what’s actually in FISA? Are you more inclined to believe Schneier, or Powerline?
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised about all of this; since the blogosphere became more or less instant experts on typography and font design last year, why can’t they become instant experts on this stuff, too?