Democrats Move to Legalize Skype Use in Congress

Updated: January 07, 2011

Democrats Move to Legalize Skype Use in Congress

The House Committee on Administration of the US Congress has recently begun reviewing House security policies to allow Congresspeople to use Skype. Skype and several other similar video conferencing sites have been blocked on all House computers since 2006, mainly because Democrats once believed these sites were a security risk to congressional networks.

That attitude has changed recently, most notably following a letter sent by House Republican leaders to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Committee on Administration Chairman Robert Brady on March 20, 2010.

In the letter, Republicans argued that “Current House rules allow Members of Congress to use taxpayer funds to conduct traditional, often expensive, video teleconferencing activities with their constituents, but forbid them from using Skype -- which is practically free -- for such activities.”

They said that “We are certain that Skype, an increasingly relevant communication tool for Americans already widely used in the private sector, could be easily implemented in Congress in a manner that would not reduce the security of the House IT infrastructure.”

In order to change the ban on Skype, House Democrats would have to amend the policy, a process which, according to Congressman Kyle Anderson of the House Committee on Administration, is “currently underway.” Anderson went on to say that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who requested the committee to begin this process, is “committed to ensuring that communication tools are available for Members to reach their constituents.”

Featured Research
  • Video Conferencing Best Practices

    Video conferencing is quickly becoming one of the most important communication channels for both small and big businesses. As more businesses turn to this technology, expectations about the experience are also rising. It’s not enough to just offer video conferencing as a communication method. You also need to meet minimum audio and visual standards, and there’s even proper etiquette to consider. more

  • Go Mobile and Increase Employee Productivity

    The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) tech trends now allow people to work whenever, wherever, and however they want—mobility makes it happen. more

  • [Infographic] How to Select a Phone System in 10 Steps

    Choosing the perfect phone system for your business is no small task …. Depending on the size of your company, the industry in which you work, and the specific needs your phone system will be required to meet, any number of solutions could get the job done. more

  • 2017 Business VoIP Cost Guide

    Reducing expenses is one of the main reasons that businesses switch from traditional office phone systems to VoIP technology. But many people rush this decision and end up spending more than they need to. The costs of implementing a new VoIP system can increase quickly, especially if you don’t strategically plan for it ahead of time. more

  • How to Improve Call Quality

    Business success is heavily dependent upon its employees’ ability to communicate. Luckily, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology gives companies a communicative advantage. more

Related Articles