Yes, and it is chillng, but, if nothing else, Google's reporting on this matter provides some chilling and potentially very useful social comment. A sort of wake-up call.
It looks as though it is finally(?) some credible, objective and verifiable statistical (hard) data to prove conclusively that in some so-called Western democracies, governments and government agencies are sometimes not only not protecting the hard-won privacy and liberty and freedoms of the people (as they should be doing), but eroding them, sometimes with the apparent desire to exercise self-serving State control over the people who elected their representatives into those governments to act on their behalf. The State can thus exercise an inherent tendency to become the enemy of the people, and, like rust, it never sleeps.
The signatories to the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights would have understood this only too well.
Fascism is apparently alive and well.
Maybe it is related to entropy.
Is this something which we have any control over or can change?
Well, yes, maybe - at any rate, I reckon we can exercise control and create change if we wish to.
However, it will not be easy, because it is arguably something within ourselves that needs to be changed.
Here's my ten cents' worth:
Fascism seems to be such a common feature, often intrinsically present in our thinking and our use of language, and prevalent in most aspects of human society. For example, arguably or potentially including many religions, governments (QED) of different political persuasions, and protest movements/ideologies and religio-political ideologies such as greenism, climatism, nuclear disarmament, peace movements, socialism, communism, Marxism, capitalism, Islamism, Roman Catholicism, and all the other 'isms(?).
It seems to be accepted as a fact of life.
This makes me wonder whether Fascism isn't just a name given to what might in fact be a fundamental trait of human nature.
Fascism seems to stem from the tendency of one person or group of persons, for whatever reason, to want to argue to the death or force their opinions/paradigms/beliefs/ideology on another person or group of persons. The reasons or the -isms can thus often be quite irrational (e.g., belief), but whether rational or not they usually seem to be perceived as being "for the greater good". They are usually promulgated by people who would consider themselves egotistically as being good and "right-thinking" people, individually or as a group.
This would seem to be quite natural. Research apparently shows that many criminals in prisons are apparently unable to perceive/accept that they have done anything wrong. We cannot accept that we are necessarily a "bad" person, so we rationalise whatever we believe/do into the egotistical illusion that we are implicitly "good" and thus "right", thus maintaining the ego-illusion unchanged.
It's as though, if a second group holds an opposing/different view to the first, then there comes into existence a psychic tension - and if neither side can adjust to the other's view, then that tension may easily build up until it has to be expressed as irrational verbal abuse/language and then real violence by either side towards the other - even, for example, by members of a movement for peace.
In many cases, the first group regards as - and may even say this - the second group as being stupid/mentally defective or acting in a manner akin to people like (say) Hitler/Mussolini. The second group then, as likely as not, may return a "Tu quoque" (Latin: "you also") and thus rational discussion goes out the window and the discussion degenerates and is dragged down into the gutter.
In such situations, violence may become the ultimate answer to substantiate one's argument and force it's acceptance by fear of death or harm, through fear/submission, on the other person/group - however stupid/irrational or biased or however "bad" the argument may be. The truth of the matter is irrelevant.
The outcome of the irrational verbal abuse/language or real violence effectively thus becomes the de facto determinant of who has the "strongest" argument.
This is arguably characteristic of what and who we are. Irrational creatures by nature. The good news is that we don't have to stay in an intellectual gutter of thought processes, living in harmony with our personal kind of Fascism, but can do something about it.
However, just as an alcoholic has to internally understand/accept that he/she has a problem before rehabilitation can succeed, so we have to accept that "we are doing it wrong" when we are thinking, before we can develop our thinking skills (De Bono, et al), which will help us to then climb out of that gutter. The greatest levers amongst the thinking skills are probably critical thinking, imagination, and the ability to apply these to your own thinking skills/processes and beliefs.
This requires significant strength of will, as it could reperesent a dreadful threat to one's ego - which will not let go. (It is probably a survival mechanism.)
I therefore gain some personal satisfaction and hope for my future in that I at least am still climbing...