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Congressmen now allowed to Skype; Skype-sex scandal imminent

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Michele Bachmann Skypes with Barack Obama

Following Anthony Weiner's elegant mastery of social media, the House of Representatives has voted to unblock Skype for use by its members. The campaign to allow Skype — which Politico refers to, without a hint of sarcasm, as "a yearlong crusade" — was headed by House Republicans, and its success was trumpeted by House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-California) in a letter to representatives. The software for both Skype and video chat service ooVoo will be modified to follow Congressional security guidelines and will be available for use over the chamber's public Wi-Fi network immediately.

Quoth Lungren in his letter:

During a time when Congress must do more with less, utilizing low-cost, real-time communication tools is an effective way to inform and solicit feedback from your constituents.

Is that what they're calling it nowadays?

Skype, ooVoo, and other video conferencing tools had been banned by House Democrats due to perceived cyber-security risks. Last year Representatives John Boehner and Michele Bachmann led the fight to allow Skype as a more cost-effective means of constituent communication; Democrats pushed back, warning that peer-to-peer programs posed significant threats to digital security. In a compromise, Skype programmers engineered a version of their software with heavier privacy settings that can be used safely for business calls.

Good to see that the two parties can work together to solve something.