Here are the best sources I have found for more information on the NSA surveillance scandal:
There is a HUGE discrepancy between what NSA whistle-blowers are saying and what the NSA says (as well as the heads of the Congressional Intelligence committees). I find it hard to reconcile the sheer amount of money spent on NSA, the amount of people involved, the incredible power wielded by the head of the NSA, and the gargantuan amounts of data they are able to store, with the claims that these programs are actually quite limited in their invasion of our privacy.
I think it’s clear they (the Executive and Congressional leadership) really like these programs and don’t want to admit just how extensive and powerful they are for fear that the public will demand they be shut down. I think it’s time we demand transparency so we all can decide if they have indeed gone too far or not.
UPDATE (6/16): CNet is running a story that suggests the NSA is indeed both storing and using (without warrants) a lot more information than previously admitted to: