I don't think we have the infrastructure in the US to pull off a full participatory democracy yet. Too many Americans live in rural areas to provide fast broadband to everyone at a reasonable cost. However, I wouldn't be surprised if we reached that level by the end of the century. If we did have that level of infrastructure though, I'd be in favor of a full participatory democracy (even though it'd require a rewriting of the Constitution since I don't think Amendments would be enough).
The provisions in the Freedom Act which extended parts of the Patriot Act are only part of the total. Those parts shouldn't be applicable since the laws they act on have already expired (in many eyes this is a legal grey area although I hope section 215 stays dead) but, the modifications of other (permanent) parts of the Patriot Act and other surveillance related laws are still important.
Members of the House of Representatives are already up for election every two years. How much more often do you want to replace them?
Also, the approval rating for individual members of Congress by their own constituents generally stays above 50% otherwise, they wouldn't be reelected. Yours is a system that sounds good but has a couple major failings.
You say this but, the Nexus branded Android devices (you know, the ones Google designs themselves) do have encryption enabled by default. Google just isn't forcing encryption on their OEM's. I think they should but, that's my own opinion.
As I understand the article, it's also a Level 1 offense to (during a visitation or phone call for example) direct someone 'on the outside' to update your profile/website. Doing so nets the same punishment and they'll try to have Facebook kill your profile for a violation of their ToS (providing a third-party with your password). With their overbroad definition of social media, asking a visitor to send an email or create an online petition for your freedom would even be an offense.
That, to me, is the larger issue here. This action is simply overkill if you're simply trying to keep inmates from running criminal enterprises or intimidating witnesses from behind bars, as there are already laws against those actions. Laws which, if convicted of violating, will actually increase an inmate's prison sentence unlike these penalties, many of which are slated to run longer than the inmate is even imprisoned.
The AC who replied to you is right. I'm in one of the grey counties in Michigan and I have 60/4 service from Charter (they upgraded me from 30/4 last July when they upgraded their equipment). So, while I still have broadband service, now I only have one available option for broadband service rather than three (Frontier [6/1] and VisionQuest Wireless [12/2] are my other options).
To be honest, the state governments are in charge of maintaining the highways (some states delegate part of this duty to local municipal governments). As such. their condition varies greatly depending on where you happen to be. The federal government did a pretty good job with their part, building them in the first place.
There are other reasons not to have the federal government owning communications infrastructure (I'm not sure I want to make surveillance easier) but, maintainance probably shouldn't be one of them.
I have jury duty on February 5th so, assuming I get selected, I'll be using this day to see any documents attached to the case I sit on the jury for. I don't think there are any cases coming up that would require a three-month trial around here after all (at least I hope not).
This isn't completely true. If you enter credit card information for them to bill quarterly (assuming you go over $15 of usage in three months) they do give you instant access without the snail mail issue.
Source: I just registered using my Google Wallet card and got instant access.
Re: Re: 'Big broadband is going to howl and protest...'
Since both houses of our Legislative branch are actually controlled by a single party now, they may actually start passing some actual legislation. I will probably be in disagreement with much of said legislation but, things will start coming out of there again. Whether or not this legislation gets signed by the President to become law on the other hand...I have the feeling that the next two years will be much like Bush's final two years. Let the veto party begin.