"I think we now know what that spiffy new NSA data-center in Utah is for - and it ain't for holdin' copies of all the pron sites on the internet."
Think of it as a giant "recording machine".
Which will record EVERYthing.
I sense their long-term goals reach far beyond simply recording phone calls and email.
Here's a quote from "1984":
"By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards.
Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time."
Orwell dreamed of a dark future.
Computers and the net have made it truly possible...