I'm going to skip over a huge chunk of epistemological debate concerning what knowledge is and how we can say we have it, to simply say, it's information. Theoretical or practical, learned in a classroom, overheard and remembered, picked up through imitation, knowledge is a fundamental part of consciousness.
Knowledge of language leads to communication, to an ability to express and disperse ideas amongst many.
Knowledge of how our government works gives us a voice, allows us to convey assent or disapproval of policy, gives us the ability to question how our world is shaped.
Knowledge of your citizen's conversations, as we have recently seen, is apparently of paramount importance, though if Facebook is anything to judge by, that's a lot of relationship updates, first-world angst and sepia-toned photographs of breakfasts to wade through in order to find the odd clandestine plot to nuke the White House.