I am an idealist cgwebmaster (must be, certainly) !
The governments try to protect what they think to be essential but doing so they forget about there citizen.
I believe first and foremost governments protect themselves, and those who empower/fund/control them (their cronies). In virtually all cases the good of the citizen doesn't appear to really enter into it. The speed and reach with which they are developing their police states, passing legislation aimed at keeping control of the populace by any means and acting enforcement wise tells me one very simple thing:They are very afraid.
Just read latest revelations at the Guardian. It is worth than I thought. Basically the spooks register every click and keystroke. Currently they can't deal the amount of data and delete most of it after a short time. New data center will change that.
That was my first thought on seeing the title - a mass deployment of key logging via compromised operating systems (Microsoft, Apple) - but on reading the article it appeared to be describing a system that just pulled all possible (web especially) activity together for someone to search more efficiently. It didn't really explore the details of the capture of the data though that's been alluded to with things like "Prism".
I think, at this point only few people really feel the impact. But will happen when in 5 years you drive over a red light, get caught and confronted with a 20 pages print out of what you have digitally said about the government the last 10 years while asking for a lower penalty claiming to be a good citizen?
I would be very surprised if they were compiling lists of potential trouble makers that they could remove from circulation if social tensions start to rise and their control is threatened. A potential trouble maker being anyone who a) disagrees with the government and b) has the guts to stand up and be counted.
There was some evidence of this sort of thing even pre Snowden, in the UK at least (a database constructed of peaceful climate change protestors who had committed no crime).
Regarding a technical solution - there is none. In any case both ends of the communication have to rely upon each other.
The last part is true, the first part I disagree with from a technical perspective. If you go to extreme enough measures - I think one can still have secure communications. That said those measures are now so extreme that most people simply couldn't go all the way as they lack the necessary knowledge and (if identified) those who could do so would be logical targets simply by being exceptional enough to conceal communications adequately.
Nonetheless, some measures would at least force more effort on their part. One of the UNIX flavour open source operating systems, strongly encrypted email/communications, with the use of TOR for browsing - ideally with your own relays before it and using someone else's internet?
Some things are much harder to escape - at least without escalating the legal stakes). Automated number/license plate cameras for instance, their ability to track financial transactions and so on.
Truly modern civilisation has spun a wicked prison in which to trap those born into it within.
In the end though, nothing changes the bottom line - the poorer masses are the most numerous and the more powerful, if they will only realise it. All the rest is a giant con trick designed to try to make sure they do not realise it.