The NSA has become the American Stasi equivalent to the Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS). The NSA is very much the modern Staatssicherheit, literally collecting data from all of the cloud providers such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Yahoo, etc. The NSA is now involved in partnerships with all the major telcos in the USA, and many others around the world, to collect data on the backbone of communication. The NSA is tapping into all airline passenger manifests even on flights entirely within Europe. We see the NSA deliberately subverting cryptography entering into secret agreements with vendors rendering security systems less effective that opens the doors for others both government and private hackers. The full scope and scale of these spying programs are enormous.
The only analogy one can possibly arrive at is the NSA has destroyed technology and seized technological advancement without their hand in it somewhere. This will not end nicely. No matter who we elect, the NSA will always be their and once they have bitten so deeply into the backbone of society, there will be no retreat.
At this point in time, it seems pretty clear which side of the conversation freedom stands. Edward Snowden is clearly a hero who the US government would hang for treason. What Snowden was compelled to do, was highly patriotic. There will never be going back as long as the government as we know it no longer exists.