Wow, I'm impressed. First I sent a Fax off to my representative David Price regarding H.R. 1157, the Freedom to Read Protection Act of 2003. I first received a positive response from him via e-mail, then received this follow-up e-mail:
Dear Mr. Gregorio:
Knowing of your interest in H.R. 1157, the Freedom to Read Protection Act of 2003, I am writing to let you know that I recently became a cosponsor of this legislation.
As you know, H.R. 1157 would exempt bookstores and libraries from orders requiring the production of records and information for foreign intelligence investigations. I agree that the privacy rights of citizens should be protected as much as possible, particularly as they relate to their choice of reading materials. The war on terrorism and the associated heightened security concerns in the U.S. should not cause our government to overzealously and needlessly scale back the civil rights and liberties of its citizens.
H.R. 1157 has been referred to the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. I will be working to enact this legislation in the 108th Congress.
I hope this information is helpful. Please continue to keep in touch on matters before the congress.
Member of Congress
I am impressed on many levels, first that H.R. 1157 is getting such great support. Second that I got an e-mail response, the first ever from a member of Congress. Any previous correspondence has always been via snail mail. Even if I sent a fax or an e-mail, I always got snail mail in response. The third is that it appears that his office is keeping track of constituents, their e-mail addresses and the matter they were concerned with. Now technologically it's not all that impressive, but from a political standpoint it's huge, representing a very different way of interacting with constituents. Hopefully this marks just the beginning, and not the end, of the technology adoption in the House of Representatives.