I agree with what you say about the current driving force behind on-line privacy invasion technology being commercial--but only as it regards individual consumers, and corporations spying on competitors.
But to say there doesn't currently appear to be abuses by "political interests" seems pretty naive. Political interests are also driving the commercial development of the technology for their own self-intersts, and have for many years.
Just because we can't see what they are doing, doesn't mean they aren't doing anything with the information gathering spy technology.
Considering the really blatant thumb nosing the Bush administration is doing towards things like the ABM treaty, etc. is proof enough for me they've got enough ammunition gathered and stockpiled already to smear anyone in the US and everywhere else in the world, right on up to European leaders who are opposed to new missile program. They will engage in smear campaigns to discredit the opposition in any way they believe necessary to flush the ABM treaty into oblivion, and start a new arms race. Donald Rumsfeld wants to make lots of money for their weapons manufacturer business cronies. One of the biggest moneymaking industries in the world.
We just can't see what information they have gathered, or even figure out how they are using it. They have the veil of "national security interests" to hide behind, and give them immunity from prosecution you and I would face if we did same.
Watergate, Pentagon Papers, etc. were all infamous cases before the advent of millions of people coming on-line. Now, they don't even have to try as hard to dig dirt, because people are revealing private and personal information about themselves in forums like this which can easily be used to discredit them in the court of public opinion, as well as in courts of law.
Same methods are being used now, as were used against Daniel Ellsberg (remember the Pentagon Papers?), ie his private mental health records, to discredit him. Just newer technology is all.