as long as you stay away from the wall you'd never know you're in prison.
and yes after 9/11 they instituted a huge dragnet that DOES catalog and record everything you do. yes you do have a file. its the sum of your credit history, criminal record, browsing history, facebook profile, facial recognition on cct...ect
also they monitor words you say on the phone. so lets say you mention All kaidea 5 times. and bawm 5 times. it will draw the attention of the alphabet boys.
its not a blanket of surveillance its just a filter of undesired activities.
the problem arises when that filter is expanded to include more and more so-called normal activites.