Codebreaker

Online democracy

Marc Sanchez Dec 6, 2011

The White House recently updated its online petition site,“We the People.” According to the site: “The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. We the People provides a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country.

One petition getting attention asks the administration to look at the current ban on electronic instruments during flights. The petition asserts that “To date, there is no evidence that electromagnetic interference, in any way, affects aviation equipment. Studies to date conclude that there’s little risk to allowing electronic devices to be used during takeoff and landing.”

There’s no promise of action, but White House staff does promise to review petitions with “enough support” and pass them on to “the appropriate policy experts.” The idea has been gaining wider momentum recently, but here’s to hoping those cell phone conversations that spontaneously occur before the words “we have safely landed, and you can now use electronic devices,” have left the air, aren’t allowed for the entire flight.

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