In the modern world, surveillance is one of the most common and effective tools of data collection, promising governments security from internal and external dangers. Since the Snowden affair, the issue of the true scope of governmental surveillance has become a serious concern of American society, raising institutional, systemic, and functional questions and highlighting the critical conflict between transparency and secrecy. Contemporary political science approaches the role of government surveillance from two perspectives: the expectation that democratic governments should conduct their politics with openness, providing citizens with access to information, protecting their basic rights and freedoms, and strengthening trust and accountability; and the acknowledgment that the need to preserve the effectiveness and efficiency of governance precludes the possibility of sharing vulnerable national security information with the public. This chapter analyzes the historical and contemporary relationship between secrecy and transparency in government surveillance in the United States, aiming to determine whether their coexistence is possible, particularly in light of the Snowden leaks. The analysis of the legal and political aspects of the politics of surveillance may help to answer the question of whether achieving transparency of surveillance practices is possible or, rather, is just a myth.