Edward Snowden released his bombshell revelations ten years ago. These showed that there was mass government spying on US citizens by US intelligence agencies; it also showed without a doubt that General Clapper perjured himself before the US Senate when he denied that this was the case.
Ten years later, Snowden is a refugee from the US Government, and Gen. Clapper is free as a bird (and guilty as sin). This tells you much about how much trust to put in the US Government.
There are two excellent retrospective articles about this: The Register walks us through much of the narrative about the who, what, and when of the last ten years. Highly recommended. Here's the TL;DR:
"Ten years have gone by," since the first Snowden disclosures, "and we don't know what other kinds of rights-violating activities have been taking place in secret, and I don't trust our traditional oversight systems, courts and the Congress, to ferret those out," Wizner said. "When you're dealing with secret programs in a democracy, it almost always requires insiders who are willing to risk their livelihoods and their freedom to bring the information to the public."
Bruce Schneier has a fascinating piece from the perspective of someone who was involved with the disclosures. Also highly, highly recommended. Schneier is a security big wig, and so there's a fair amount of security industry inside baseball. For example:
And this prediction from your humble host has stood the test of a decade:
The two highlighted items really get to the heart of why the security industry is so angry about what the NSA has been doing. They spent years establishing a relationship of trust with the industry and researchers. Then they exploited that trust for personal gain at the expense of everyone else.
While I don't at all want to minimize the horrific crime of child abuse, that will give you a bit of the flavor of how the security industry looks at Ft. Meade now. It was a rape, a rape of those who had trusted them as teacher and protector.
This is going to cause enormous problems for NSA. I simply don't see how anyone will ever want to cooperate with them outside a public forum. Nobody who values their reputation will be willing to be accused of slipping an NSA mickey into a crypto library.
And nobody on a standards body will ever again listen to NSA recommendations for changes to algorithms. As a matter of fact, those recommendations will make the hair on the back of people's necks stand up, and lots of people will start to reverse engineer the NSA's math to see what games they're playing.
The last ten years have sure been a wild ride.