Interesting article. I think, as unfortunate as this trend is for the most of us, that it is the probable course into the foreseeable future, because society has become complex beyond the capacity of governmental leaders to manage it.
The primary goal of any government (or other institution) is the preservation of the institution. So the government does what it has to to keep in power. (Think Tiananmen Square).
The second most important goal of any government is the preservation of civil order, because destruction of civil order threatens goal number 1. (Again think Tiananmen Square, or indeed Kent State University or the Chicago riots).
The government consists of human beings with normal intelligence, meaning they are just like the rest of us. In fact, if you pay any attention to government at all you would see that these guys are not very smart. A democracy is not a meritocracy.
So you have a bunch of folks of average intelligence trying to maintain civil order. A democracy is not a structure that is very good at prompt and best course decision making regarding complex issues. Besides, freedom of speech is a threat to goal number 2. This portends a more authoritarian future for pretty much all of humanity. Sadly, democracy is not capable of making good decisions in a highly complex world. It requires an educated and informed electorate in order to succeed. I would not rank the US really high on the scale of "educated and informed electorate".
The article in your posting is one example of how governments are increasing the surveillance of the average guy. China (which has a really big civil population to keep calm) another example. The movement to reduce cash in circulation (Larry Summers wants to get rid of the $100 bill) would give the government control over our cash assets and allow them to freeze or confiscate our assets at will. The TSA currently has the right to examine the electronic devices of anyone (US citizens included) without a warrant, including domestic travelers. And so it goes.
Meanwhile our political parties, instead of working together to formulate workable solutions to our problems are busy pointing fingers at each other to identify who is to blame for them. It does not help the politicians to further the spread of civil liberties.
An individual can respond to this trend in two ways. On is to weep for the lost narrative of a country "of the people, by the people and for the people" "with liberty and justice for all". The other is to recognize what is ahead an do whatever is in her power to survive and prosper in the coming totalitarian world.