Check out this paranoid crap from the Guardian. The headline should read, "Britons Who Choose to Visit the United States to Be Scanned for National Security Reasons." See, if you stay in Britain, none of this will happen to you!
Get this: Britons already have their credit card details and email accounts inspected by the American authorities following a deal between the EU and the Department of Homeland Security.
1. Only if they choose to visit the United States! 2. My understanding is that such transactions are merely monitored--that is, Homeland Security can easily find out if you sent an e-mail to Osama, or sent cash through your Visa card to Hamas, but they can't inspect the contents without a court order, just as they always could monitor your mail, but not open it without a judge's permission.
Look, people, if you choose to go visit another country you have to obey their laws. When I applied for Spanish residency, they fingerprinted me, and I had to have a medical checkup, which the government knows the results of. What's the problem? I have to carry my ID card at all times here. So what's the big deal? I have to inform the government every time I change address. Who cares? I'm not allowed to work for the civil service (which includes teaching in the public schools) because I'm not a Spanish citizen. I'm not complaining. These are the Spanish government's policies, and if I don't like it I can leave.