White House spins web to trap e-mailers

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The Independent US

Has George Bush had a bad experience online? Has he been receiving too much spam offering low-interest mortgages or pills to enlarge a certain part of his anatomy?

Either way, it has become more difficult to e-mail the US President. Once it was enough to send an e-mail to president@ whitehouse.gov, but since last week, it involves nine steps, including the completion of a form saying if the e-mailer supports White House policies. A spokesman for the White House said the change was an "enhancement" aimed at helping staff deal better with the 15,000 e-mails the President receives each week, but it was only a "work in progress". "When it comes to a website, it's a bit like a movie," he said. "Some will say it's a tour de force - some will say it fell flat."

Further inquiries by e-mail went unanswered yesterday because the new system was not working.