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
  • 15 Traits of a Good Phone System

    While each marketed model has its own host of bells and whistles, when it comes down to it, for you to select the best phone system for your business, focus on little more than these 15 traits! more

  • 2017 Business VoIP Features

    If you’re considering an investment into a new VoIP system (or upgrading an old one), it’s important to understand what features are available and which ones your business will actually need. Especially if you want to keep costs at a minimum. more

  • What To Do When Your VoIP Contract Expires

    Automatically renewing your VoIP contract is a mistake. The VoIP landscape has been changing rapidly, and it pays to review all of your options before committing to another contract. more

  • VoIP Brings Big Benefits to Small Businesses

    If you run a small to midsized business and you're still relying on a traditional phone system, you need to rethink things. VoIP offers most businesses, regardless of the size, huge benefits. For small businesses, it unlocks the opportunity to have an enterprise-level communication system without the traditional expenses. more

  • [Infographic] How UC Can Improve Employee Productivity

    If you’re interested in a straightforward way to improve the productivity of your employees, it's time to consider adopting a Unified Communications (UC) strategy. more

Related Articles