Congressional e-mail/2

Howard Kaplan hkaplan at UDCVAX.BITNET
Sat Jun 5 13:36:24 EST 1993


What follows is part of the message from the House of Representa-
tives Constituent Electronic Mail Service (CEMS).  To my way of
thinking, the paert about congressional responses being sent by
snail mail is fraudulent.  If there were security concerns, they
should flow both ways.  If I had such concerns I either
wouldn't communicate at all (Am I writing to a leaky sieve?) or I
would ask that the response be sent by other than electronic means.
The purported objectives are to establish a rapid, two way, paper-
less mode of communication.  This only duplicates what already
exists at greater cost and puts the constituent on hold.  Could it
be just a method of increasing congressional mail volume without
providing anything more in the way of responses?  O Lord, I think
the paranoids have finally caught me.
                                Howard Kaplan
___________________________________________________________________

        INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONSTITUENTS

        If your Representative is taking part in the pilot project,
we encourage you to send a letter or postcard by U.S.Mail to that
Representative at the address listed above requesting electronic
mail access. In your correspondence, please print your name and
INTERNET ADDRESS, followed by your postal (geographical) address.
When your Representative receives the letter or postcard,
you will receive a reply by electronic mail  that
will include the Representative's Internet address.  After you
receive this initial message, you will be able to write your
Member of Congress at any time, provided you follow certain
guidelines that will be included in that initial message.

        We are aware that it is an inconvenience for electronic mail
users to be required to send a post card in order to begin
communicating with their Representative.  However, the primary
goal of this pilot program is to allow Members to better serve
their CONSTITUENTS, and this initial postal request is the only
sure method currently available of verifying that a user is a
resident of a particular congressional district.

        In addition, constituents who communicate with their
Representative by electronic mail should be aware that Members
will respond to their messages in the same manner that they
respond to most communications from constituents.  That is,
Members will generally respond to messages by way of the U.S.
Postal Service.  This  method of reply will help to ensure
confidentiality, a concern that is of utmost importance to the
House of Representatives.

COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

        Please feel free to send electronic mail comments about our
new service to the Congressional Comment Desk, at

        COMMENTS at HR.HOUSE.GOV

        We will make every effort to integrate suggestions into
forthcoming updates of our system.

        Thank you again for contacting the House of Representatives'
Constituent Electronic Mail System.  We are excited about the
possibilities that e-mail has to offer, and will be working hard
to bring more Members on-line and to expand our services.  We feel
that this pilot program is an important first step, and we urge
your cooperation and continued interest to make the program a
success.

        This message will be updated as necessary.

                Honorable  Charlie Rose (D-NC)
                Chairman
                Committee on House Administration





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