The Washington Post dropped a bombshell that the government was engaged in a massive surveillance program (PRISM) with the compliance of major US tech companies. Opponents are in an uproar; expect another clash between open internet, national security.
Critics quickly led to a retraction of many significant details in the initial reporting, but the core outline remains true: the US federal government, through the NSA, was accessing private content and metadata as part of a massive big data analysis project.
Congressional defenders, specifically the heads of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee, insisted that they had been briefed—see: Intelligence Gang of Eight—and that the program was responsible for blocking terror attacks. The Obama Administration concurred and insisted that no direct content was being accessed. However, Congress as a whole was not briefed, despite Administration claims, and many individual elected officials are outraged.
Expect a major clash between privacy advocates and the national security apparatus, which has traditionally resulted in a resounding victory for the latter.