The government obviously has had this data for quite some time, and no one I know of has been grabbed by the secret police, nor could they use the data to stop the Boston marathon bombing before it took place.
Government organizations are simply incapable of making use of the data they have access to. I have no doubt of that. I am much more fearful of this breadth of data in the hands of an enterprising individual with a specific, focused agenda. Bureaucracy by sheer existence will ensure this data will remain impotent in the government’s hands.
We should focus on real threats, not imagined ones, like what our government did to a person like Aaron Swartz. After this PRISM leak, is the Everyman going to care more about “this risk to my personal freedom and privacy” (which never existed in the first place–what a farce), or what our government actually DOES do to destroy a citizen’s life, like Aaron’s?
Smart money on the fact that people care less about what happened to Aaron than what they THINK might happen to them (but it never will), simply because they are not Aaron. And, that is the tragedy here…