The NSA is reporting that they have assembled a domestic and foreign spying program almost identical to the Total Information Awareness Act that the American Congress banned in 2003. It has gone ahead anyways with secret funds of an undisclosed amount to do broad-spectrum spying on YOU. They are gathering up information such as who you're e-mailing, what you buy, and who you talk to on the phone. All that is gathered up in a database where it's analyzed for suspected terrorist patterns. If such a pattern is suspected they will begin more focused surveillance, from that point whether or not they resort to other "completely valid information gathering techniques" (such as water-boarding) is up to their own discretion.
But this is about protecting you from those bad terrorists who want to hurt you, so if you're not a terrorist this isn't a problem.