Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Congressional E-mail Folly

Some of you may have heard about recent efforts by Congress to address the influx of e-mail communications coming in to their offices by requiring that people solve simple math and logic problems before their e-mail will go through. If you haven't, you can read about it at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/11/AR2006061100691.html

This will stymie, at least in the near term, many of the cyber-advocacy tools upon which associations and businesses rely. I'm not a fan of form letters -- personal, thoughtful communications are far more likely to receive the attention of your elected officials. I agree that people sending e-mails should demonstrate that they are constituents. However, I believe that requiring them to also solve math and logic problems (even simple ones) before sending an e-mail serves no legitimate purpose. True, it will shift out the truly concerned citizens from those that may be practicing "point and click" democracy (i.e., just sending form letters from a website). Nevertheless, as much as I prefer personal communications, I do not believe that constituents should be forced into sending only these types of communications.

I wrote a letter to the Washington Post on this issue, which was actually published!

Here's the link http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/20/AR2006062001595.html

1 comment:

Free Spirit said...

"Congress argues that these restrictions are necessary to reduce the spurious e-mails sent on behalf of constituents."

My take on this is that what they really mean is that their constituents are spurious, and this is just one more effort to avoiding having to deal with them.