The whole idea of the Secure Sockets Layer protocol is to prevent "man in the middle" attacks from being able to find out what is being said.
Hence if someone sends email using SSL through an email server hosted abroad then the only thing the government could have tracked is that someone has sent one or more emails. The government would not know to whom, how many emails in the session or from whom, nor would the government be able to find out anything further.
Indeed if people use onion routing then the government wouldn't even be able to find out which hosts are being used.
It is important to remember that the English courts have removed children from at least one person in part for their political views. (in a secret court of course) Hence it is a sensible precaution for everyone in the country to have all their communications encrypted. That, therefore, conceals the terrorists in a mass of unaccessible encrypted data.
To me this is all very wrong and stupid.
nb I wrote the second implementation in the world of SSL back in 1995.