Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 25, 2014

Spotify Access Is Spotty

The House is alive with the sound of music — well, almost.

Last week, staffers and members of Congress rejoiced to learn that they would regain access to Spotify, a popular music-streaming program, on the House network.

They would return to Capitol Hill from a two-week recess ready to pick up where they left off before the House computer overlords blocked the program for fear it would expose government computers to cyberattacks.

Since that time, the House IT department and Spotify had been working together to find a way to bring the program back without compromising security, and after almost two months, it appeared they’d reached a solution.

But no sooner had many legislative aides put on their earbuds to listen to some sweet tunes while sorting through constituent mail did they learn the terrible, horrible truth: Not all the kinks had been ironed out.

“WEBSITE BLOCKED” blared computer screens all across the House side of the Capitol as users tried to redownload the program this week. “Application: new_malicious_websites,” whatever that means.

A handful of sources alerted HOH that perhaps the Powers That Be had spoken too soon.

“Unfortunately, Spotify has not returned for many of us in the House,” one staffer wrote forlornly.

Obviously there is still work to be done to ensure that Spotify is made accessible again to everyone, said Dan Weiser, spokesman for the Office of the House Chief Administrative Officer, which oversees the chamber’s IT functions.

“We’re continuing to work with Spotify so members and staff have access,” he said.

Music fans on the House side of the Capitol will surely be staying tuned, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

“House blocked Spotify?” he tweeted when the program had first been blocked. “It is a legal music service that should be allowed. Pandora, YouTube, iTunes, Spotify … Let the music flow.”

UPDATE: It looks like the House has indeed ironed everything out, and folks in the House can finally access Spotify through the application’s web client

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