Lawmakers are prohibited from using Skype to chat from their offices.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Internet video-chatting service Skype helps connect people across the globe - but your representatives in Congress are banned from using it.
House Democrats and Republicans have been tussling over whether to overhaul technology rules that prohibit lawmakers from using Skype to chat from their offices with the people they govern.
Their obstacle: A 2006 ban on running peer-to-peer applications behind House and Senate firewalls. Such programs allow computers to share files (remember Napster?), which could pose a security risk.
Skype is a peer-to-peer (P2P) program, but its software is a different animal from the popular-with-pirates media swapping applications that gave the P2P field a reputation as the Internet's Wild West. While Skype users can send files directly to others, the company says it's impossible to share documents accidentally - as users could with file-sharing programs like LimeWire.