Nancy Pelosi vs. Social Media, Free Speech and Democracy
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would like very much to reimpose the old, so-called, “Fairness Doctrine” that once censored conservative opinion on television and radio broadcasting, is scheming to impose rules barring any member of Congress from posting opinions on any internet site without first obtaining prior approval from the Democratic leadership of Congress. No blogs, twitter, online forums – nothing.
This was first reported to me by Congressman John Culberson (R-Tx) and I asked for approval to cite him and for any media links to this story. He provided the following link of regulations proposed by the Chair of the Congressional Commission on Mailing Standards (PDF) Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Mass) that was sent to Rep. Robert Brady, Chairman of the House Committee for Administration. The net effect of the regs would be to make it practically impossible for members of Congress to use social media tools to discuss official business or share video of the same with the public while creating a partisan disparity in what little approved messages might be permitted. It would be a very considerable error to assume that the House leadership intends to let dissenting Democratic members post any more freely than Republicans.
Set aside the nakedly partisan aspect of this plan for a moment – on the technological merits alone this may be the goddamn dumbest thing I’ve heard of regarding the internet coming out of Congress in a long, long, time. The dinosaurs who are uncomfortable witrh computers, the unwashed masses being aware of their actions and free political debate want to turn the clock back to the 1970’s. Except during the 1970’s no one would have dared to propose controlling what a democratically elected member of Congress could say to their constituents. Doesn’t it register in the Beltway that they are talking about public information that already belongs to the people of the United States? Senators and Congressmen should be interacting with citizens more freely, not less; the U.S. Congress needs radical transparency, not greater opacity imposed by the Democratic House leadership to better hide shady dealings
It’s a brazenly Orwellian and most likely unconstitutional power grab by the Speaker of the House unlike anything dreamed of by any previous speaker – not Sam Rayburn, not Joseph Cannon. Nobody.
Nancy Pelosi has finally arrived at a historical pinnacle – as an enemy of free speech and the public’s right to know.
It may be possible that these regs will force bloggers other than MoC to comply with these rules as well ( Hat tip Fantomplanet)
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has info on the Senate version of the House Democratic plan:
In the Senate, the problem gets even worse. Feinstein (D-CA) would have the Rules Committee act as a censor board, forcing members to get approval for the act of communicating on external websites. Further, it would appear that the Feinstein proposal would attempt to exercise editorial control over these sites, at least indirectly.
As my source put it, these are the key issues:
- Under their scheme, the Senate Rules Committee would become the Internet speech police for everyone in the Senate.
- It will be up to the committee to “sanction” which websites and forms of communication they deem appropriate.
- The Rules Committee thus gets to pick winners and losers among various websites in terms of which are appropriate for use.
- The Rules Committee would get to regulate communication through any site not ending in “senate.gov,” which would include sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Further, this could jeopardize guest posts at sites like RedState and Townhall.
- The Rules Committee would require senators to moderate “any public commentary” which would likely mean regulating comments on guest posts and YouTube videos, among other things.
Response by Representative Mike Capuano.
….First, the ONLY item we seek to address is LOOSENING existing rules to allow Members to post videos as a first step toward making the rules meet our constituents’ expectations regarding how they communicate with us in the 21st century. This was completely ignored during the years that Republicans controlled Congress while the internet grew exponentially. It is currently against House rules to post video on any site with commercial or political advertising or to use taxpayer-funded resources to post outside of the House.gov domain.
We are not currently seeking to address anything other than video – not blog postings, online chats or any other written form of communication anywhere on the internet. Any assertion to the contrary is a lie. Perhaps the people spreading those lies should take some time to actually read the letter I wrote, which is attached below.
Our only concern is commercialization – not imposing limits on free speech. It is amazing to me that Republicans think they can obscure the issue with this completely false assertion.
Read in full here.
Also Blogging on this Issue -UPDATED:
Cannonfire Memeorandum Slashdot Glittering Eye Outside the Beltway Off the Kuff Riehl World View
Representative John Culberson tdaxp Wizards of Oz Hidden Unities Selil Blog Arm your Mind for Liberty
Hot Air The RealBarackObama Shlok Vaidya Rick Wolff New Wineskins HG’s World Amicable Collisions
The Next Right Techdirt Pundita Powerline News Threatswatch (Michael Tanji) Head Noises
July 8th, 2008 at 11:20 pm
[…] important post from my friend Mark Safanski: zenpundit.com » Blog Archive » Nancy Pelosi vs. Social Media, Free Speech and Democracy Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would like very much to reimpose the old, so-called, […]
July 9th, 2008 at 12:13 am
If correct, it is simply stunning.
July 9th, 2008 at 12:24 am
Thx for heads-up. Done!
July 9th, 2008 at 12:32 am
[…] Pelosi Confuses Congress With The Duma! Zenpundit exposes the nefarious, deliberate scheming and subversion of the Constitution by Speaker Nancy […]
July 9th, 2008 at 12:33 am
[…] Moving rapidly through the social networking environment representatives posting on TWITTER, and other places have exposed this travesty in totalitarian politics. This is the nature, the power, and the reason that constituents who have access to their representatives will hold any representative proposing censure, censorship, or restriction accountable at the national level. […]
July 9th, 2008 at 12:36 am
I posted my own thoughts here http://selil.com/?p=195 but this is a pretty stupid and ignorant trick by the house leadership. Never mind trying to put the genie back in the bottle how about trying to shove the bottle into a hole so deep that it won’t ever be seen again. Perish the thought that representatives communicate with constituents instead of being mind numbed automatons of house leadership "We will vote as you say"….. idjits.
July 9th, 2008 at 12:45 am
Many thanks for exposing this. I sent msgs on Facebook to my classmates who are involved in NC politics as staff for my local Congressman (Howard Coble), Rep. Walter Jones and the Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler. I hope these three join Rep. Boehner and Culberson in raising a ruckus over this nonsense.
July 9th, 2008 at 1:04 am
[…] Nancy Pelosi vs. Social Media, Free Speech and Democracy These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]
July 9th, 2008 at 1:19 am
[…] should take the ability to legislate tech away from everyone involved in this debacle. This was written by Shlok. Posted on Tuesday, July 8, 2008, at 7:19 pm. Tagged congress, federal […]
July 9th, 2008 at 1:35 am
CONGRESS BARRED FROM FREE SPEECH?
Thanks for the heads up..looks like you started a rumble…
July 9th, 2008 at 1:37 am
[…] I’m just not quite believing that this is even conceivable. Truly chilling. Could it be related to […]
July 9th, 2008 at 2:32 am
Mark, thanks for being on top of this. I posted some thoughts on this <a href="http://amicablecollisions.blogspot.com/2008/07/chavistas-rising.html">here</a>. This is of course completely outrageous, but not really surprising. At this point we know enough to anticipate these kinds of things coming from the left. I think we can expect the Democrats to back down on this, but that won’t be the end of it. As the Belmont Club’s Richard Fernandez says, "Whenever they are checked, they simply wait, lie dormant and try again at the next opportunity." So while we are countering this one now, we need to be preparing for the next iteration down the road.
July 9th, 2008 at 4:07 am
Culbertson has it wrong. Check out this article at TechDirt: http://techdirt.com/articles/20080708/1602521624.shtml
July 9th, 2008 at 4:55 am
I’ll link to the Techdirt post but I’m not seeing how moving from an old rule subject to salutory neglect to new, modestly less restrictive but actively enforced rule-set with intrusive new wrinkles is " loosening" up. There shouldn’t be any restrictions period – much less oversight of content.
July 9th, 2008 at 4:59 am
Heres how the House leadership will use this rule to control where and what I say and even exercise influence over your website/blog etcIf the Ds rule change were in effect today, before I could post this, your website/blog would have to be preapproved as complying with House rules, my post would require a disclaimer that it was "produced by a House office for official purposes," and the CONTENT of my post would have to be preapproved by the House Franking Committee as complying with "existing content rules and regulations." This is a violation of your First Amendment rights and mine, and is an outrageous attempt by House leadership to stifle and control you and me. If Rs were in charge I would be just as outraged – forget the party label – I do not want the federal gov’t/House of Representatives certifying your website or the content of my posts. I am writing this post personally, in my official capacity, so it would fall precisely under their new rule and you and I would both be in violation unless we subjected ourselves and my words to their prior approval/editing. I am always ready to admit I am wrong but I am an attorney and this is what the letter means.This is a story worth following because I am going to continue to vigorously exercise my First Amendment rights on every social media outlet I can reach. It is my right as an American and my duty as a representative.thanksJohn Culberson
July 9th, 2008 at 6:00 am
The Senator and Representative from California seem to have tin ears and authoritarian tendencies. The first is apparent not just in their attempt to do something certain to be withdrawn amidst public protest and redicule, and overturned by the courts if passed — but also for doing so in an election year.
It is a sad day for America when senior Congresspeople consider this a good idea. It is a bad omen for the new era starting after the November election, in which the Democratic Party will probably have large majorities in both Houses.
Now: who can best guess how Senator Feinstein and Speaker Pelosi will back away from this?
July 9th, 2008 at 6:04 am
This mgiht not be correct (I should have checked before posting the above comment!)
"Politician Using Twitter To Ignite Misleading Partisan Fight Over Politicians Posting To Twitter", Mike Massnick, Techdirt (8 July 2008) — Opening:
"Last month, I posted how cool it was that Republican Congressman John Culberson was really using Twitter to communicate with people. It was a great use of the technology. However, today he’s been using Twitter to ignite a totally misguided partisan war, pretending (falsely) that Democrats are trying to prevent him from using Twitter. First, he announced on Twitter that "the Dems are trying to censor Congressmen’s ability to use Twitter" claiming that "They want to require prior approval of all posts to any public social media/internet/www site by any member of Congress!!!" Fascinating, and troubling, if true, but it’s not actually true.
"The actual issue is one that we discussed a few months back. Existing House rules actually forbid members of Congress from posting "official communications" on other sites. This was first noticed by a first-term Congressman who was worried that posting videos on YouTube violated this rule. Other Congressional Reps told him to not worry about it as everyone ignored that rule, and no one would get in trouble for using various social media sites such as YouTube. However, that Congressman pushed forward, and eventually got Congress to act. Of course, rather than fixing the real problem (preventing Reps from posting on social media sites), they simply asked YouTube to allow Reps to post videos in a "non-commercial manner." YouTube agreed, and that was that.
"However, the existing rules still stood. Culberson’s complaint stems for a letter (pdf) sent by Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano, suggesting that the rules actually be changed to be loosened to deal with this situation and make it easier to post content on various social media sites. Culberson, however, bizarrely claims that this is the Democrats trying to limit what he can say on Twitter. But that’s actually not at all what the letter states. The problem isn’t this letter, but the existing rules that are already in place. In fact, based on the letter, it would appear that this would make it possible for Congressional Reps to Twitter, so long as their bio made it clear they were Reps. …"
July 9th, 2008 at 6:11 am
Congressman Culberson might not be correct representing this issue (I should have checked before posting the above comment!)."Politician Using Twitter To Ignite Misleading Partisan Fight Over Politicians Posting To Twitter", Mike Massnick, Techdirt (8 July 2008) — Opening:."Last month, I posted how cool it was that Republican Congressman John Culberson was really using Twitter to communicate with people. It was a great use of the technology. However, today he’s been using Twitter to ignite a totally misguided partisan war, pretending (falsely) that Democrats are trying to prevent him from using Twitter. First, he announced on Twitter that "the Dems are trying to censor Congressmen’s ability to use Twitter" claiming that "They want to require prior approval of all posts to any public social media/internet/www site by any member of Congress!!!" Fascinating, and troubling, if true, but it’s not actually true. ."The actual issue is one that we discussed a few months back. Existing House rules actually forbid members of Congress from posting "official communications" on other sites. This was first noticed by a first-term Congressman who was worried that posting videos on YouTube violated this rule. Other Congressional Reps told him to not worry about it as everyone ignored that rule, and no one would get in trouble for using various social media sites such as YouTube. However, that Congressman pushed forward, and eventually got Congress to act. Of course, rather than fixing the real problem (preventing Reps from posting on social media sites), they simply asked YouTube to allow Reps to post videos in a "non-commercial manner." YouTube agreed, and that was that. . "However, the existing rules still stood. Culberson’s complaint stems for a letter (pdf) sent by Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano, suggesting that the rules actually be changed to be loosened to deal with this situation and make it easier to post content on various social media sites. Culberson, however, bizarrely claims that this is the Democrats trying to limit what he can say on Twitter. But that’s actually not at all what the letter states. The problem isn’t this letter, but the existing rules that are already in place. In fact, based on the letter, it would appear that this would make it possible for Congressional Reps to Twitter, so long as their bio made it clear they were Reps. …"
July 9th, 2008 at 6:38 am
Well it does seem like partisan grandstanding, which may only go to show that "copycat clouds" do indeed happen in the blogosphere, given how the echo chamber + phone game has caused such a partisan ruckus so quickly. If Rep. Culberson had come out against the original and pre-existing rules, that would have been one thing; if he had led a movement — heck, introduced a bill — to limit the reach of those pre-existing rules, or to clarify them, in this Internet Age, that would have been another thing (a commendable act of initiative); but instead he’s found a quaint partisan message, full of the requisite hyperbole and finger wagging, and many of like mind have become proxies in a rather quick timeframe.
No wonder he likes Twitter. Hey, when the MSM can frame a politician on the basis of one phrase or statement taken out of context, it must be fun to post 140 characters of your own particular choosing. Let everyone else fill in the blanks.
July 9th, 2008 at 8:30 am
What exactly is her argument for this so called "Fairness doctrine?" If the Democrats do try this, what we need to watch for is the GOP’s response. If the GOP allows this to happen, then it will be obvious that the power structure is becoming nervous.
The Internet has very quickly become "the equalizer" for overcoming the elite media. Historically, the left has been the side that favored putting restrictions on freedom of speech. Unfortunately, I see signs of the right doing the same thing.
Every week, Bill O’Reilly has a segment where he scares his viewers with stories of "far left loons," "bomb throwers," "Daily KOS Nazis," and "anti-semites" doing all sorts of evil on the Internet. He is very clear that "the children" are in danger becuase of this "Internets" thing. He’s also always very sure to say "something needs to be done about this!"
When I watch this segment, it’s obvious that O’Reilly is priming his audience for future Internet censorship. As I mentioned above, the elites in this country are growing more nervous due to signs of the population becoming more radical. Even "right wing" President Bush, called the Minutemen "vigilantes" for attempting to gather intelligence on the border. The Minutemen organized, recruited, and planned for their organization on the Internet. In the future, besides "the fairness doctrine," be on the lookout for Internet censorship, "hate-speech" laws.
Much of the elite’s fear is related to the creation of a "North American Union." While the NAU does have potential benefits, it’s negatives have the potential for possible "blow-back." This blow-back will result from thousands of truck drivers, longshoremen, and unskilled manufacturing workers loosing their jobs. People will also see their communities receive an influx of workers from the South, which will result in higher crime rates, decreased quality of services, over crowed hospitals, and overcrowded schools.
In order to combat this potential blow-back, the elites will need to remove the population’s main tool for disseminating information; that of course being the Internet. And the elites aren’t taking any chances. In 2006 the Dept of Homeland Security awarded Halliburton a contract to build "detention facilities" in the case of an "immigration emergency." After reading this, people–especially the left–assume these facilities are intended for undocumented workers. But after reading the article, one has to wonder what exactly an "immigration emergency" is? If the NAU does come into existence, then there will be no such thing as an "undocumented worker," therefore, these "detention facilities" must be intended for something else?
I realize that my post may sound somewhat paranoid? I should point out that I’m generally not one to give much thought to conspiracy theories. But at the same time, its hard for me to ignore what’s happening in this country. And when I read stories like the one I linked below regarding the "detention facilities," I can’t help wondering how far the elites will actually go to "spread globalization," regardless if people want it or not?
also see: http://www.halliburton.com/default/main/halliburton/eng/news/source_files/news.jsp?newsurl=/default/main/halliburton/eng/news/source_files/press_release/2006/kbrnws_012406.html
July 9th, 2008 at 8:37 am
I understand the concept of a "copycat crime" but what exactly is a "copycat cloud?"
July 9th, 2008 at 12:53 pm
Mark, Thank you very much for the head’s up. I forwarded your request to other bloggers, including Merry at The Real Barack Obama, who posted on the topic last night. I posted on the topic this morning, and I’m continuing to forward your request to bloggers and other media figures.
July 9th, 2008 at 1:56 pm
I sympathize with criticism from both fronts but having experienced firsthand the ambiguous nature of such rules or regs while blogging in the Navy, and how people can choose to enforce or not enforce it in ways beyond the scope of its extent, its important that rules be crystal clear like this.
I had one public affairs officer sit me down and congratulate me for blogging, then 3 1/2 months later, a new one say I was a miscreant who was violating multiple rules and regs. The rules themselves were ambiguous and PAO’s and others after this chose to read things in them that were not there.
I can certainly imagine a Speaker or leader claiming an off the cuff conversation or even the highlights of a meeting are official Congressional communication and as such could not be discussed by a rep. or senator on their blog or other social media forum.
July 9th, 2008 at 2:17 pm
In regard to the Techdirt piece, I need to reiterate a few important considerations:
The previous House rules, also draconian in nature, were not enforced. Most members of Congress ignored them and posted as they pleased and suffered no consequences for doing so. These new proposed rules are highly likely to be enforced. The substantive effect of the proposed changes are that there would be an an increase, not a decrease or easing of restrictions on use of the internet, preemptive censorship and intrusive regulation.
The second issue here is that the Republican minority does not trust the Democratic majority of the House to consistently enforce these new rules in an impartial manner. I don’t trust them either. Nor would the Democrats trust the Republican leaders to do so if the shoe was on the other foot.
The third issue, one that the Techmeme alludes to and one that Rep. Culberson explicitly commented on above is that there really is no justification for elaborate "gatekeeping" rules on MoC internet use to exist in the first place. Aside from being a probable violation of 1st amendment rights, the only beneficiaries here are the political interests of the gatekeepers.
Exactly what public interest is served by implementing such restrictions ?
July 9th, 2008 at 3:29 pm
[…] as describes it. Here are the first two volleys; more to come on Wednesday. Hat tip on this to Zenpundit; see his comments for more analysis on […]
July 9th, 2008 at 3:40 pm
Mark, you make some good points. This is off-topic for IntelFusion so I won’t be covering it there, but I’m glad that you’ve raised it. I trust you to elevate it above partisan politics (which you’ve done in the comments section) and address the crux of the issue – free and unrestricted flow of nonclassified information without encumbrance.
July 9th, 2008 at 3:45 pm
Thanks Jeffrey !
For the record, I will be linking to sites on both sides of this issue, not merely those that support my original post. Aside from Techdirt, Fabius Maximus also is expressing skepticism. More to come as I can find them.
July 9th, 2008 at 4:35 pm
[…] Zen Pundit finally realizes what I’ve been arguing. This is not a partisan thing but “on the technological merits alone this may be the goddamn dumbest thing I’ve heard of regarding the internet coming out of Congress in a long, long, time.” […]
July 9th, 2008 at 4:44 pm
[…] need our representatives to make a lot more official use of the Internet rather than less (hat tip: Mark Safranski). James Joyner has said most of the remainder of what I’d say on this subject. I don’t […]
July 9th, 2008 at 5:40 pm
Mark, I’ll reiterate what I said to you via e-mail:
As I read the Capuano letter, it says that, first of all, the only thing that’s being discussed is whether Congresspeople can post official communications to non-House-controlled web programs. That is, they can’t have such communications be produced by their House office — which is actually a good thing, since it means Congresspeople can’t use federally-paid staffers to create what’s essentially campaign material. They can still do whatever they want as private citizens, campaign committees, PACs, 527s, or any other entities separate from their Congressional offices.
Second, the policy that says they can’t post these things is already on the books — but many members of Congress aren’t following it with regard to videos, because it’s much easier to post a video on YouTube and then embed it on your House website than it is to go through what’s apparently a complicated process on the House server. As a result, Capuano’s committee is suggesting a rules change that would allow YouTube embedding, but would impose a couple of commonsense regulations on it: the embedding site would have to be on a list of approved sites, and the video would have to include information clearly identifying it as created by a Congressional office.
Entirely reasonable and completely different from the noise Culberson is spewing.
I’ll say again — this policy is NOT going to change what Culberson can or cannot post on your blog or any other blog. It ONLY affects what he can post in an OFFICIAL capacity, which is entirely right and proper given that posting on blogs in an official capacity provides an unfair campaign advantage.
As an attorney, Culberson must know that what he’s saying about this letter is absolutely untrue. His actions are reprehensible on this matter, as I’ve come to expect of him (he’s my girlfriend’s Congressman, so I’ve been following him for a bit). Zen, sad to see you carrying water for this guy.
July 9th, 2008 at 5:58 pm
To update, Zen, sorry if I was a bit harsh toward you in that comment above — I shouldn’t have been. We simply disagree on this issue, and I’ll be interested to see what the Democratic leadership has to say in defense of their position.
July 9th, 2008 at 8:25 pm
No worries. If I were to re-write the post with the understanding I have now I’d probably put more emphasis on the big picture need to clear up the whole mess by wiping the slate clean and having a very simple platform of dealing with any abuse of Federal resources, should they arise. None have so far.
Open social media access will itself be self-correcting the first time a member of Congress commits a gaffe or says something inappropriate that is amplified 10,000-fold. The same learning curve that bloggers go through. There’s no need to complicate use of technology that most high school kids can handle.
July 9th, 2008 at 11:53 pm
You say: " If I were to re-write the post with the understanding I have now I’d probably put more emphasis on the big picture need to clear up the whole mess by wiping the slate clean and having a very simple platform of dealing with any abuse of Federal resources, should they arise"
Since your post has stirred up some controversy – clarification of the "big picture need" and a suggestion for the "simple platform" seems in order. If this is truly an attempt by congressional "leaders" to impose gag rules on the people’s representatives, it should be stopped.
Why not prompt Rep Culberson to submit a bill that clarifies how congresspersons may exercise their first amendment rights and nip this purported censorship by the elite leaders of the House in the bud. He can gain awareness and support for his bill by using the blogosphere, as is his right.
Better yet, why don’t you suggest language for such a bill, or amendment to the existing
congressional "rules" for congressperson’s use of the Internet(whether Twitter, YouTube, Facebook etc.)
My friend Robert Scoble’s book Naked Conversations deals with this problem of "corporate oversight" of the blogosphere and recommends in favor of very limited controls if any. The same should apply to our the public discourse by our elected representatives.
If you can put together a cogent pitch on this issue, send it to me by email, and I will ping Robert to get his thoughts on this issue promoted in the Scobleizer blog and his Fast Company TV channel. This should be right on Robert’s wavelength.
July 10th, 2008 at 4:05 am
All of these are excellent and fair suggestions on your part. I will contact Rep. Culberson’s office to inquire about the possibility of introducing such a bill and/or amendments of rules ( in one of Rep. Culberson’s earlier tweets he indicated this was a matter of committee action in the House, not legislation) and see how he responds. I agree philosophically with you re: Scoble – that would be the ideal way for the Congress to go in terms of revision of rules. Having Scoble and other leading internet thinkers involved would be a strong positive in working toward a constructive outcome.
July 10th, 2008 at 6:30 am
According to the 2007 Republican Franking Reference Guide (pdf),
So even by the GOP accepted standards, if Rep. Culberson decided to link his Twitter account or a YouTube account, those sites would need to be reviewed by the Franking Commission. Rather than make the highly partisan one-shot attack, he should look closer to home or — much better yet — do as you’ve suggested and view the whole picture. How can anything be accomplished in Washington when knee-jerk partisanship usurps actual problem solving? (By which I mean, "actual problem" solving, as well as "actual…solving.")
On another note, although this might belong in this thread only tangentially, I have some ideas about your comment above that,
— well you know I sometimes take an odd 5GW-slanted view of things, but in all seriousness, when elected federal officials become ubiquitous on YouTube and Twitter, many citizens may stop having skepticism about who/what they are reading. For example, I’m a bit amazed and even pleased that Rep. Culberson can be found on Twitter, as I’m sure many are who have helped him transmit his message; but seeing his comments here, there is for me a bit of wondering if he is actually the person posting those comments. Ubiquitous participation on social networking platforms, without safeguards, will make impersonation, hacking, etc., a potentially very big danger. We in the U.S. tend to have faith in the system long-term, believing that errors will be worked out eventually in the democratic (and capitalistic!) process — but consider a time of hightened security risk, such as a terrorist act or act of warfare, and what might happen if impersonators of Sen. Clinton, Rep. Culberson, Speaker Pelosi, etc., began posting misinformation and who knows what to create a "copycat cloud" with cascading effects. So some sort of security measures, authentication, and sensible rules — for instance, special YouTube and Twitter accounts, un-hackable — might be an issue of national security.
July 10th, 2008 at 7:09 am
I would also like to note that the GOP House site lists their Franking guidelines prominently. Much has been made of the fact that no one follows the rules but the Dems are now trying to make sure people will — but quite obviously the GOP gives face to rules they never intend to follow?