This is one of the topics with a lot of information and equal amount misinformation. What “anyone” really knows about what the NSA is doing is really well.. classified, and so it should be..
Information on this subject is based on opinions, conjecture, and if we are lucky some actual facts. Governments are wising up to the inherent flow of information on the internet and with any interconnected networks. Governments, corporations and others are spying on each other, constantly.. Some of it is directed and targeted, some of it is a wider “fishing net” of traffic. The current understanding of the NSA program is it does both.. General “wide” capture everything… then look later, and specific “threat” data analysis.
With all the press about the NSA and Prisim. Customers are wondering what that means for their data and security on the internet. Conspiracy theories aside, can you really protect your data from the NSA? The answer, unless you have high end security (and even that is doubtful), is basically… No.
The cost to a small business for the security infrastructure required to isolate your data to such a level to prevent government level “peeking” while still being connected to the internet provides a very poor return on that investment. Quite frankly the data you have to hide “shouldn’t” matter to them and is irrelevant. Security against “hacker” intrusion however, is just good business practice.
If you want 100% full time security that will NEVER be broken, then unplug your device and leave it in the box. Anything else will just get you closer too but never at 100% and the cost escalates at an insane rate.
The reason is because governments play by a different rule set than everyone else. The NSA has long believed to have “back door” access to the computers that “transit” information on the internet. You can be “secure” on either side of your connection on the internet but info goes through a series of routers and nodes to get to your destination (and back). The NSA has long been suspected of intercepting those nodes..
Is it true? I would suspect there is likely some truth to it.. as to the extent of the spying.. who knows! (But its more likely than not..)