servers many purposes....
1. Gives people the impression something is being done against terrorism
2. Helps to fill blank spots in the databases that keep track of your associations and political opinions
3. Enforces the belief that an online presence is required for a trustworthy identity
4. Reinforces the fear of terrorism and further legitimises invasion of privacy
5. Gives US goverment a tool to implement foreign policy. E.g. Customs to harass citizens of countries that won't allow US spooks to access their datacentres
6. Probes the water - on exactly how much people are willing to put up with.
7. Demonstrates power - e.g. Making people comply - despite everyone knowing how irrelevant these methods are in fighting terrorism