Re: they're a spy agency
They're not good at it. We're discussing it for one thing. The leaks were trivially performed by someone who should never have been party to that kind of information. Even on a military level, leaks of sensitive material are incredibly easy things to do (the hope is that the punishment that Manning et al receive is enough to put you off doing them).
In fact, I'd say this shows just how bad they are - personally, I believe the techniques they are using at INCREDIBLY bad at collecting anything useful. The signal-to-noise ratio is just far too low and they've had to resort to basically listening to every packet in order to get anywhere. And, to be honest, we just don't hear of that many cases which end with "And the plan was foiled by the NSA/GCHQ". In fact, we don't. You could argue that's secrecy, but I don't think it's all that common at all.
And, at the end of the day, nobody is above the law. You want to spy, you spy legally. The people you are spying on will consider it illegal while you are on their soil, of course. If the law does not apply to spies, we could just say that and have done with it. But the fact is that it applies to them the same as everyone else. Some countries have forgotten this recently, but even in the MIDST OF WAR it can be illegal to treat an enemy inhumanely. That's how stupid it is to claim that a spy is above the law. If a spy gets caught breaking a foreign law in a foreign country, yeah, hard cheese, that's your job that we've given you permission to do (but that permission does not extend to overriding the target country's permission, obviously). But if a spy is caught breaking the law left, right and centre on it's own soil when EVERY statement it makes says that it's complying with the relevant laws, that can be taken - ironically, by just the extremists it's looks to contain - as a descent into anarchy.
Personally, spying in the last 50 years or so is nothing more than amateur hour after being left behind - brains-wise - by the rest of the developed world. There was a time and place where intellectuals dedicated their lives to forwarding their nation's cause and were at the cutting-edge of science (and inventing new sciences along the way). Those days have passed, and we have kids with McDonald's chef certificates using encryption that those agencies can't beat (yet, again ironically, invented for just that kind of purpose).
Spying en masse, on your citizens and allies, illegally, and then claiming it's legal, is a recipe for disaster. All this "acres of supercomputers" nonsense that gets spouted? I can only think that if that's considered a viable intelligence source nowadays, you might as well pack up the invisible ink and laser watches now. I honestly JUDGE the modern GCHQ for becoming nothing more than government-funded, consultant-advised, facebook-watchers.
And I'm almost certainly on some list somewhere. I've education background in cryptography, I can code, I've run TrueCrypt and Tor, I use Linux, and I'm pedantic about the security of systems. I'd be disappointed if I wasn't. But I'd be a million times more disappointed if any of those are even considered a factor without some actual real suspicion based on something other than my website/OS preference first.
Spying's gone seriously downhill. It's now just a "Google him" exercise with a "private Google" that the NSA/GCHQ are trying to build for themselves.