Despite the fact that the NSA has far-reaching legal authority to monitor Internet traffic and has never lost a court case where it wanted data that someone else didn't want it to have, the Snowden leak keeps unveiling program after program designed to circumvent the law and give the NSA even greater access to information that many of us would have consider private.
On display today is the NSA program codenamed Muscular, by which is hacked into the front end servers of Google, Yahoo, and other data giants to get easier access to the unencrypted data passing point to point within the companies' data network. Once they created the hack, they captured vast amounts of data, defending their practice by altering the definition of surveillance. But the claim that it's only surveillance if you look at the data after you steal it is weak at best, and when taken in context with other documents whereby human analysts complain about the relative ineffectiveness of the program (you can't have a complaint about a program without someone looking at the data!), it seems fairly evident that the NSA is once again overreaching.
The consequences of NSA policy is starting to impact how the world (both our allies and enemies) view the US, and it's starting to have real-world economic impacts. By way of example, (soured from Extremetech.com) Multiple US providers of encrypted email services have shut down rather than be forced to reveal their users. In the case of Lavabit, the government has argued that forcing the company to reveal the private email encryption keys for some 400,000 customers was not an undue burden in its quest to seize Edward Snowden’s email account. The fact that 399,999 of the people in question had done nothing wrong and were not under any sort of surveillance order was besides the point.