We've seen a lot of bills being thrown around, most recently CISPA, that show that the government is currently seeing a lot of lobbyist money pushing them in the direction of gaining tighter control over the internet. But even with an ISP like Comcast or ATT, it seems like all you have to do is spend the money on a quality, secure VPN or proxy (e.g., https://www.phantompeer.com/), and you're already two steps ahead of the blunt measures being enacted by the gov. It's nothing especially advanced, but we're competing against bureaucrats here. By using a server in a country like the Netherlands, you've already escalated your case to an international level; Den Haag would have to be willing to work with D.C. to convict you, unless they decide that simple communication with that server is criminal.
All of that said, I'm pretty green in the IT side of things. What can we do to protect ourselves from intrusive governments and ISPs?