Obama lawyers prohibit staff from using instant messaging in the White House.

Politico’s Ben Smith reports that Obama lawyers broke some bad news to the incoming White House staff at a briefing Friday morning: they will not be allowed to communicate with each other and the outside world through the use of instant messaging. “They just told us flat out we couldn’t IM in the White House,” complained one senior staffer. The reason? The Presidential Records Act would likely require the disclosure of “instant messages discussing government business.” Matt Yglesias argues that, in light of rapid advances in technology, the right approach would be to “update the law.” He adds, “If the conclusion of your legal analysis is that the President of the United States can’t have an email account or a Blackberry, then that means you need a new law.”