The difference between Simon's Baltimore, thirty years ago, and today is that nearly one million civilians have top security clearance designation. The national security state, in other words, is not a "virtual" state. It is literally a state. It is a state formed out of tens of thousands of corporations, each with allegiance to shareholders and top executives; themselves the happy result of privatization of government and outsourcing that acquired momentum during the Bush terms.
With disclosures by a former Booz Hamilton consultant, the emperor has no clothes. But there is no imperative to dial back the national security state, unless citizens force the issue with Congress and the White House to ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to protect citizens' right to privacy.
Unless voters intervene -- supporting political candidates willing to run for office on a platform of dialing back the national security state -- what is likely to happen is that the national security state will bury itself further in the high weeds of technologies; tightening down "supervision" of those with top security clearance. One could even imagine (as science fiction has long done) that computers will now filter the filterers; in other words, putting humans at a distant end of decision matrixes because -- the thinking goes, embedded in algorithms -- we simply can't be trusted to reach reasonable conclusions about others' behavior, much less our own.
It is time for common sense and judgment to manage our way back from the massive invasion of privacy that constitutes a parallel, separate reality from our daily lives entwined with data. The result, otherwise, is certain abuse.