Re: Those of us in other countries
Those of us in other countries may laugh now, but you can bet your hide every government on the planet is doing similar things if they have the technical ability.
Technical ability has less to do with it than having a legal system that allows blatantly undemocratic (or, in the US case, unconstitutional) practices to continue unabated.
That's why I keep urging people to educate themselves about the laws applicable to their work. You don't have to become a lawyer, but for God's sake, educate yourself about the pitfalls in legislation or you will be caught out if you get between the State or law enforcement and data it wants, and they have no compunction to walk right over you if they think they can get away with it (or not, but take a chance anyway).
There is nothing wrong with law enforcement having powers, but they MUST go together with accountability and transparency or you should stop calling it democracy.