Now now Halsy... DDI is just the resident right wing troll. We certainly have enough left wing trolls to balance him out around here
As for his statement -- yes, the government is fully capable of monitoring anyone it really wants to at the moment. There are some legal issues, but the PATRIOT act removed or castrated most of those. The obvious point is that most people won't ever do anything to be worth monitoring -- I'm sure that anyone monitoring me would be bored out of their minds. But that's not the point.
And as for monitoring everyone -- don't worry. It will be feasibly possible to dump all the data being output by ECHELON, CARNIVORE, or whatever other systems they have to a multi-petabyte array within a few years. At that point you'll be able to retroactively monitor someone, or do data mining for "suspicious activity". Go ahead, laugh if you like, but this exact system has been proposed (and, fortunately, shot down) twice now by the current administration.
And it's not a far stretch to think that a system like this, once in place, could be badly abused. Either on a personal level ("Hey Jim, I know what you did last night...") or a national one (and both parties are equally guilty of passing inane laws that turn a large portion of the populace into criminals). Not to mention the problems that will occur when mistakes are made -- feel free to ask other large database users about that (like, oh say, the credit agencies).
At one point the idea of processing that much data was completely infeasible -- we are talking about a massive amount of data with really wide and deep correlations. But distributed computing and storage, fast and cheap CPUs, and improved database technology have changed all that. If you'd like a case study, look at Google.