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House Rules limit members’ use of the web

The latest in a series of Op-Eds in The Hill addresses how antiquated “Franking” rules, which govern how members of the House of Representatives can use paper mail, adversely affect their use of the web for communicating with constituents.

…most member websites function as little more than online brochures, when they could better serve as a place to share information about the member’s activities in Congress, or even as a vital community center. Under these rules, members cannot use Google maps to provide visuals for district information important to constituents. Neither can members use non-congressionally provided blogging tools, nor link to other blogs that may be deemed to be of a political nature.

This is one of a series of Op-Eds written by contributors to the OpenHouse Project‘s recent report on congressional information. The complete report is available as a pdf document: Congressional Information & the Internet (The OpenHouse Project, May 8, 2007). The earlier Op-Eds are:

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