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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Krosstok via Flickr The hallowed Inbox Zero: how a TD's inbox could look if an email filtering system was introduced.
Email filter

TDs play down report of possible ‘email filter’

TDs have dismissed newspaper suggestions that they are looking at ways of blocking some emails from the public.

POLITICIANS HAVE MOVED to dismiss reports that the are considering proposals to block incoming emails from members of the public.

A report in today’s Irish Examiner said an Oireachtas committee had been given a presentation on IT facilities which had included a discussion on the possibility of imposing an email filter.

The report quoted anonymous members of the all-party the Joint Administration Committee who said TDs’ inboxes were being flooded by email, much of it “irrelevant”.

A spokesman for that committee said that while members had considered the issue, they were “anxious to ensure that nothing be done which might interfere with democracy”.

They were keen to ensure that any changes to the current system would not hamper “communication between citizens and members of either House of the Oireachtas, or with citizens’ right to make protests peacefully or comment”.

One TD on the committee said members were reluctant to consider any outright filtering system, as they did not want to be seen to restrict public access to members of the Oireachtas. understands that members have been given a series of briefings on administrative matters in the Oireachtas, ahead of the publication of its annual report, and that a presentation on Leinster House’s ICT systems formed part of these.

One Leinster House source said the briefings given to members only dealt with the possibility of an email filter on a “hypothetical” basis, and that no members had actively sought to introduce a full

Various websites offer the possibility of sending automated email petitions to members of the Oireachtas; one online petition against the so-called ‘Irish SOPA’ legislation, which emails TDs on signatories’ behalves, has been signed by more than 80,000 people.

Mark Conroy, who runs petitions website, said he was “baffled” that the idea would be floated by TDs in the first place.

“If we read that the North Korean government decided that some people can contact TDs on some issues, but that others don’t have a right to contact them on other issues, we’d treat it as another example of a failed – or at least failing – government,” he said.

Read: New rules may allow independent TDs to be paid twice for same expenses

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