“It is transparent. That’s why we set up the FISA court.”
Transparent to X-rays? FISA is a rubber-stamp joke.
Gaming this out a little:
1. Public outcry, fading with the usual power law of a news cycle. Looks like Snowden may have enough material to keep this going quite a while, though.
2. Imagine that the data centers turn out not to be riot-proof and burn to the ground after all. That data isn’t going away. Private databases don’t have the same (ahem) restrictions as government ones. In other words, really don’t expect to see any privacy legislation that has real teeth; that data is far too useful.