I've never understood rules like this:
"Sites with official Senate content may not require a fee or service
charge for viewing such content."
So, if Senator Schumer gives an interview in his office to Roll Call,
does Roll Call have to give their paper away for free?
I understand the desire to prevent Congressmen from using their role
to help commercial interests....but giving exclusive interviews helps
commercial interests. What's the difference?
On Jun 5, 2009, at 10:28 AM, John Wonderlich wrote:
Attached, and included below, is a Dear Colleague from the Senate
Rules Committee regarding Web Use. To me, it raises more questions
than it answers.
June 3, 2009
The rapid evolution of new Internet-based media and the creation
of third-party websites and tools present fresh opportunities for
Senate offices to serve their constituents and the public. A goal for
the Rules Committee is to facilitate the use of these new technologies
in compliance with existing law and Senate rules and regulations.
Previously, official use of sites outside the "Senate.gov" domain
was prohibited. However, in September, 2008, the U.S. Senate Internet
Services Usage Rules and Policies were changed to permit Members to
separately establish and maintain official Senate content on third-
party websites. At that time, offices were instructed that "care needs
to be taken not to violate Senate Rules, Regulations, Standing Orders
and Statutes governing Senate operations, including the prohibition on
using Senate Internet resources for personal, promotional, commercial,
or partisan political/campaign purposes."
We want to highlight the following issues for Members to consider
as they decide how they will use Internet-based new media:
- Official Senate business must be separate from political,
commercial, and promotional activities.
- No official resources -- office funds, staff time,
equipment, space -- may be used for the creation or maintenance of
political, commercial, or promotional material on these sites.
- Members maintaining sites outside the "Senate.gov" domain
should ensure that public commentary, if permitted, is clearly
distinguished from official content. Members who permit public
commentary should advise visitors to their site that such comments do
not reflect the views of the Senator or the U.S. Senate, and that
material that violates Senate rules for official sites may be removed.
- Certain websites may collect data from website users (a
practice known as "data mining"). Members are strongly cautioned
against having an official presence on sites that may use such data
for political or commercial activities.
- Sites with official Senate content may not require a fee or
service charge for viewing such content.
- Certain sites, especially those that are not official
sanctioned by the Senate Rules Committee, may place advertising on
pages containing official Member content. This can pose risks to
Members who may have no control over the content, placement or use of
- At this time the only third-party website that has formally
entered into an agreement to keep all promotional, commercial, or
partisan advertising and commentary from Member sponsored webpages is
- The Rules Committee is actively working with other internet
sites to include them on the list of sites that agree to the Senate
internet regulation requirements.
If you have any questions about using this new media or your
office would like assistance, please feel free to contact us or have
your staff contact Adam Ambrogi, Democratic counsel, at 224-0279, or
Michael Merrell, Republican counsel, at 224-9754.
Charles E. Schumer
Robert F. Bennett