New rules let Congress use Web sites such as YouTube

Members of Congress will be able to use Web sites such as YouTube and Twitter to communicate with constituents under new regulations adopted by the House Administration Committee.

The ability to use those Web 2.0 sites was threatened this summer when rules about the use of such sites were proposed to keep members from spending public money for political messages.

Rep. John Culberson, (R-Texas), who uses Twitter, applauded the new rules, which were announced Oct. 2.

“Truly a victory for all those seeking increased transparency in our government, the use of online video and other online technologies,” he said in a Web posting.

The new regulations are based on a proposal presented in June by Republican members of the committee.

The new Web regulations, which were adopted via committee poll, permit members to post content on outside Web sites as long as the content is for official purposes and not personal, commercial or campaign-related.

“It is imperative that members have the ability to use whichever Web services they feel will best inform their constituents about the important issues facing this country,” said Rep. Vern Ehlers, (R-Mich).

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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