Spotify Returns to the Hill

Posted April 9, 2013 at 4:18pm

Spotify is back in the House.

After a more than two-month absence on the House network, administrators have reversed a ban on the popular music streaming program in the Capitol and House office buildings.

House aides familiar with the situation said that Spotify worked with the House Chief Administrator’s Office to change how the program delivers music when it is used over the House network. The change took effect last week.

“They modified some of their technology so the program no longer utilizes peer-to-peer technology,” said another staffer.

The House has long prohibited programs that use peer-to-peer networks in order to prevent illegal file sharing over the House network and avoid viruses from infecting government computers.

In January, House officials banned Spotify from the network and said they would work with the company to address security concerns.

The decision brought jeers from a Spotify spokesman, who told Politico at the time that, “It is a sad day when a few bureaucrats can block our nation’s leadership from enjoying free, secure access to over 20 million songs.”

Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., also sounded off, tweeting, “House blocked Spotify? It is a legal music service that should be allowed. Pandora, YouTube, iTunes, Spotify … Let the music flow.”

Before Spotify was launched, the ban also extended to video chat programs such as Skype and ooVoo. In 2011, member outcry and security modifications led to offices being able to use those programs.

Spotify did not immediately return a request for comment.