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Skype Use Still Limited In Senate

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 01: In this photo illustration, the Skype internet phone program and eBay website are seen September 1, 2009 in New York City. EBay announced it will sell most of its Skype online phone service to a group of investors for $1.9 billion, a deal that values Skype at $2.75 billion. (Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images)(MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES)

June 28, 2011

While the House is loosening its rules on Internet teleconferencing software, the popular program Skype is still restricted in the Senate.

The difference largely stems from the fact that the Senate doesn't offer a public Wi-Fi network, unlike the House. Because of cybersecurity concerns, the House limits the use of Skype to its public Wi-Fi network.

"The Senate does not have a public Wi-Fi network, but it does allow desktop video-teleconferencing for offices both internally and externally through its own secure system, not through Skype," said Jean Bordewich, staff director for the Senate Rules Committee.
That hasn't stopped members of the Senate from using Skype.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, for one, encourages his staff to Skype. "We use Skype. And I've used it in my music," he said in an interview Tuesday.

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