The unfortunate truth is that digital footprints, now available to the playful hands of the powerful-that-could, have proven too much temptation in gaining both profit and power. The ease of operability for data surveillance has become a global problem. Governments' human proclivities lead them to try to control technology. Others abuse it due to pathological levels of insecurity or the simple delusion of playing gods who can passively dispatch a digital version of Argus, the archetypal giant of universal surveillance.
The good news is actionable bills prove Washington and courts of law are ablaze with legal teams and advocates running interference against a surveillance agenda and in favor of your rights to 4th Amendment protections.
There are other signs the fever is breaking: live casualty reporting in televised news, constitutional freedoms uphled, fearless discussion of human rights, attempts at prosecutions for international war crimes, and ongoing elections. We might even look forward to a withdrawl from Iraq.
Maybe there has been an international awakening, a realization of what we have to lose. People everywhere are trying the "new sanity" of doing all they can to stop bad things from happening. Getting active for purely selfish reasons is a sign of health and survival. When the powerful get greedy and reckless, it's alright to pick up a phone, a pen or a picket sign and fight back.
I think it's the biggest reason for the change. Certain folks are just desperate enough to understand their future depends on their involvement.