Using Skype to Contact Your Congressmen

The Plan is Called “Citizen-to-legislator”

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: September 22, 2011

Using Skype to Contact Your Congressmen

On June 28, 2011, the United States House of Representatives approved a measure that allows members of congress to use video conferencing tools like Skype and ooVoo to communicate with their constituents.

John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, released a prepared statement about the measure. He stated, “This is another example of the new Republican majority using digital tools to better engage with and listen to the American people. We’ve committed to keeping our pledge to lead a House that is more open and that gives Americans a real-time voice in their government.”

The adoption of the voice technology will also help congressmen to communicate with their staff at a lower cost. Security will be maintained through modified licensed agreement that require all users to agree to House-specific agreements that comply with House Rules. Skype users will also have to conduct VTC sessions on the House’s Wi-Fi connection in order to reduce the dangers normally associated with peer-to-peer networking.

This is not the first new technology the GOP has adopted since the 2010 midterm elections. The Republican leadership also set up a livestream of the electoral transition and arranged to have the House.com website moved to the Drupal open source content management platform.

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