In an effort to “help enhance constituent communications,” the U.S. House of Representatives is authorizing the use of video chatting software Skype and Oovoo for Members and staff. The sites, which were previously blocked as cybersecurity risks, are now permissible, following special licensing agreements designed especially to ensure that House rules are upheld and privacy and security are ensured.
From Skype’s “The Big Blog”:
“Skype’s engineers worked closely with the Congressional network security team to ensure that Skype is used safely for official business… In addition, Members of Congress and their staff Pokies can personally configure important privacy settings to provide the highest level of security available on Skype… We look forward to working with the U.S. Senate, as well as other government agencies and lawmakers around the globe to facilitate the use of Skype and other broadband-enabled applications. Skype will open up new channels of communication between government officials and the people they represent, and potentially help reduce costs, increase transparency, and improve communications, which is something I think we all agree is a good thing.”
Among Skype’s most vocal congressional supporters over the past year is GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).