Am a huge admirer of Bruce Sterling's writing up through about Heavy Weather, but as a commentator he says less and less every year. If you strip away all its nuances-on-nuances, this essay appears to be saying (a) exposure of state secrets interferes with the operations of good government, (b) we tolerate a surveillance state but a countervailing regime of dissent will be dealt with harshly and (c) the techno phreaks and cyber geeks Sterling hangs out with are mostly excitable idiots. Not saying much in an era of massive unchecked snooping is understandable, but better not to write at all than support the status quo in the language of the rebellious free-thinker. Or to profess ennui on all sides of the issue to disguise the general conservative drift of your thinking.
(hat tip jb)