While the system itself was not substantially changed—as a rule, governments are less interested in reforming their own behavior than in restricting the behavior and rights of their citizens—what did change was the public consciousness.
This is something that Doug Belshaw discusses in his mapping of the internet.
In response, Snowden discusses the power of language to challenge.
You have heard that when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Herein lies the folly of every system of rule whose future relies more heavily on the omnipotence of its methods than the popularity of its mandate. There were times when empires were won by bronze and boats and powder. None survive. What outlasts each forgotten flag is our greatest technology, language: the empire of the mind.
It is interesting to consider this alongside Audrey Watters’ discussion of luddite pedagogy.