Yes. I am not a child. I said look at "your phone", not at "the phone network".
Indeed, the telephone calling functionality of modern phones (E.164 et al, harking back to Alex Bell) is already obsolete, and persists only due to momentum and (more important) the ability of service provides to charge by the minute for usage. VoIP telephone ala Skype, Google Hangouts, SIP, etc. are already vastly more advanced technology.
My point being that modern smartphones have all the functionality such a system needs - always-on Internet access, with strong encryption and endless possibilities for prioritization and customized applications.
That wasn't true in 2001 when this monstrosity was invented (I was on several of the relevant standards committees at the time).
But it is true now. If there ever was a reasonable justification for this project (I didn't think so at the time), there certainly isn't now.
It's 20th century thinking - the government needs it's own special network that's going to keep working when the public Internet goes down.
There are only 2 conceivable scenarios when such a thing would even be useful:
1 - Some enemy attacks and brings down the entire Internet in the US, as the Russians tried to do to Estonia in 2007.
2 - Somebody in the government thinks they will "turn off" the public Internet in the event of some emergency - terrorism, civil war, rebellion, etc.
Re #1, even Russia couldn't do it to tiny Estonia. (Not that they didn't cause trouble, but the Internet didn't ultimately go down.)
And if some enemy did succeed, then they've already won the war - without the Internet the US is a dead duck. No commerce, no hospitals, no nothing - everything is dependent on a working network. Without it there is no country to defend.
Re #2, this is paranoid fantasy. Even if the US government tried to "turn off" the public Internet, even if they had legal authority to do it, even if the NSA hacked into routers and tried to break them - they couldn't.
Because of #1. Because virtually all of the economy is dependent on the network working, political pressure wouldn't let them turn it off. Too many powerful people would lose money. And even if they tried it anyway, it wouldn't work. Network techs and service providers would be under so much pressure from their important customers - businesses losing money! - that they'd block the NSA and fix it. Tech aware customers would route around the blockages. They'd have no choice. Things would be fixed within hours, whether the government likes it, or allows it, or not. They can't shoot every nerd in the country.
So the whole thing is just...stupid 20th century pre-Internet thinking.
The government doesn't need it's own special network. Make the one we all use robust. And use that one. Without it we're all dead ducks anyway, so fix it properly.
How does banning the predators from playing the game help?
The players are the potential victims; not the offenders.
The predators can hang out and wait for victims whether they play the game or not.
If if that weren't the case, how would this ban help? These people are felons - if the existing penalties are not enough to discourage them, how is adding a law against playing the game going to make any difference?
That would disqualify all major party candidates of the last 100 years (and a majority before that).
I find the whole thing ironic - for decades I've been told not to worry about excessive government power, because in our democracy the leaders will always be reasonable, civilized people who won't abuse them.
Not some kind of crazies like the people who led [nightmarish dictatorship of your choice].