THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
WHITE HOUSE ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS AND PUBLIC ACCESS EMAIL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Table Of Contents
I. Signing up for Daily Electronic Publications.
II. Searching and Retrieving White House documents.
III. Sending Email to the White House.
The White House Communications office is distributing press releases over an experimental system developed during the campaign at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
You can obtain copies of all the press releases from a wide variety of on-line services or discussion groups devoted to either national politics in general or President Clinton in particular. These are listed in sections I and II.
Section Ic explains how you can sign up to receive press releases directly from the experimental MIT system by using an automated email server. The present system was not designed to handle high levels of message traffic. A more powerful system will become available in due course, and in the meantime, it would be appreciated if you used this service sparingly. One appropriate current use is secondary redistribution and archiving. If you use it, you will be carried forward when the more powerful system that replaces it.
2. On CompuServe: GO WHITEHOUSE
3. On America Online: keyword WHITEHOUSE or THE WHITEHOUSE or CLINTON
4. On The WELL: type whitehouse
5. On MCI: type VIEW WHITE HOUSE
6. On Fidonet: See Echomail WHITEHOUSE
7. On Peacenet or Econet: See pol.govinfo.usa.
8. On The Meta Network: Go Whitehouse
B. NOTES ON WIDELY AVAILABLE SOURCES
2. CompuServe's White House Forum (GO WHITEHOUSE) is devoted to discussion of the Clinton administration's policies and activities. The forum's library consists of news releases and twice daily media briefings from the White House Office of Media Affairs. CompuServe members can exchange information and opinions with each other in the 17 sections in the forum's message area. The message board spans a broad range of topics, including international and United Nations activities, defense, health care, the economy and the deficit, housing and urban development, the environment, and education and national service.
3. On America Online the posts are sent to the White House Forum, located in the News & Finance department of the service and accessible via keywords "white house" and "clinton." The White House Forum on America Online contains the press releases from the White House, divided into the categories "Press Briefings," "Meetings & Speeches," "Foreign Policy," "The Economy," "Technology," "Health Care," and "Appointments." The area features a message board so you can discuss the releases with other AOL members, and a searchable database for easy retrieval of releases in the topic that interests you.
4. MCI Mail users can access daily information on the administration's programs provided by the White House through MCI Mail bulletin boards. The available boards are: WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC, WHITE HOUSE FOREIGN, WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL, WHITE HOUSE SPEECHES and WHITE HOUSE NEWS. A listing of these boards can also be obtained by simply typing VIEW WHITE HOUSE at the COMMAND prompt.
5. On The Meta Network, material is posted in the White house conference and is accessible via keywords (matching on document titles and subject categories) as well as full text search. Discussions on specific initiatives take place in special interest forums, e.g. health, technology, and reinventing government.
C. DIRECT EMAIL DISTRIBUTION
If you don't have access to the these accounts or if you would prefer to receive the releases via email, then the next section details how to sign up for this service. The server is not set up to answer email letters, comments or requests for specific information. To reach this MIT server, send email:
The server works by reading the subject line of the incoming message and taking whatever action that line calls for. If you want to sign up to automatically receive press releases, then your subject line would begin with the word RECEIVE. You can then specify what kind of information you are interested in receiving. The categories of information are:
Get releases related to the economy such as budget news, technology policy review, etc.
Get releases related to foreign policy such as statements on Bosnian airdrop, Haitian refugee status, etc.
HEALTH Get releases related to health care policy, without receiving any other social issues. Use this instead of social.
Get releases related to social issues like National Service (Student Loan) program, abortion, welfare reform, etc.
All speeches made by the President and important speeches made by other Administration officials.
Transcripts of press conferences released by the White House Communications office, as well as the President's remarks in photo ops and other Q&A sessions.
ALL All of the above
So, if you wanted to sign up to get releases related to the economy your email message would look like this:
Subject: RECEIVE ECONOMY
When you send a signup message to the clinton-info server, it sends you back a status message letting you know what distribution streams you are signed up for. If you ever want to check on what groups you are signed up for send the following message:
You can stop receiving email releases by sending a REMOVE message to the clinton-info server. The word REMOVE would be followed by whatever distribution stream you wanted to drop. If you wanted to stop receiving message about the ECONOMY then your mail would look like this:
To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org Subject: REMOVE ECONOMY
You could substitute SOCIAL, FOREIGN, HEALTH, SPEECHES, NEWS or ALL for ECONOMY in the above message and you would be dropped from that distribution list. If you send the subject line REMOVE ALL, then you will be taken off the email distribution system all together and will not receive further releases of any kind.
You can also ask for help from the automated server. Send an email query as follows:
The server will respond by sending you a detailed form that will guide you through the process of signing up for the various distribution streams. As you will quickly discover, there is a automatic form processing interface that parallel the quick and easy subject line commands discussed here. More detailed help is available by sending an email query as follows:
Subject: Please Help!
Finally, if you want to search and retrieve documents, but you do not have access to the retrieval methods discussed in section II, you can do this via email through the MIT server. You can obtain the WAIS query form by sending an email query as follows:
Once you have identified the documents that you want, be careful not to request them all at once, because you may be sent a message containing all the documents and this message may be too big for some mail delivery systems between the email server and you.
D. EMAIL SUMMARY SERVICE
The Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a daily summary of White House electronic publications.
To subscribe to the USDA Extension Service White House Summary service, send a message:
In the body of the message,
type: subscribe wh-summary
2. Document Retrieval
To request a specific document, send a message
In the body of the message,
type: send white-house number
Where number is the request number for the document
3. Document Search
A user-friendly search facility is also available to search the white-house documents archived at ESUSDA.GOV. To search, send a message
In the body of the message,
type: search white-house keyword1 keyword2
4. Catalogue of Summaries and Documents
Back issues and the catalog of the summaries or the documents contained at ESUSDA.GOV can also be retrieved through our almanac server. To get the summary catalog, send a message
In the body of the message,
type: send wh-summary catalog
5. Further Information
If you have any questions about Almanac, please contact: email@example.com
II. HOW DO I RETRIEVE WHITE HOUSE PUBLICATIONS FROM INTERNET ARCHIVES?
Various sites are archiving the press releases distributed . What follows is an incomplete list of some of the sites containing the documents that have been released to date. This FAQ will be updated to reflect new sites as they become known.
Notes: The following are notes on how to log in and get information from the above sites.
:description "Server created with WAIS release 8 b5 on
Feb 27 15:16:16 1993 by firstname.lastname@example.org These are the
White House Press Briefings and other postings dealing with
William Jefferson Clinton and Albert Gore as well as members
of the President's Cabinet and the first lady Hillary Rodham
Clinton, Chelsea, Socks and others in Washington DC. Dee Dee
Meyers and George Stephanopoulos. Other good words:
United States of America, Bill Al Tipper Democrats USA
US These files are also available via anonymous ftp
from sunsite.unc.edu The files of type filename used in
the index were:
/home3/ftp/pub/academic/political-science/whitehousepapers /1993 ")
Folks without WAIS clients or gophers that act as WAIS clients may telnet to sunsite.unc.edu and login as swais to access this information via WAIS.
1.b GOPHER is a distributed menuing system for information access on the Internet developed at the University of Minnesota. gophers are client-server implementations and various gopher clients are available for nearly any computing platform. You may now use gopher clients to access the White House Papers and other political information on SunSITE.unc.edu's new gopher server. You may also add links from your local gopher server to SunSITE for access to the White House Papers.
For gopher server keepers and adventurous clients to access SunSITE you need only know that we use the standard gopher port 70 and that our internet address is SunSITE.unc.edu (18.104.22.168). Point there and you'll see the references to the Politics areas.
For folks without gopher clients can telnet to sunsite.unc.edu to try out gopher acess. You need to have access to internet telnet and:
The rest is very straight forward. Browsing options end with a directory mark (/), searching options end with an question mark (?). There's plenty of on-line help available.
2. No special instructions.
3. The CLINTON@MARIST log files which contain all the official
administration releases distributed through the MIT servers
are available via anonymous FTP. These logs contain in
addition to the official releases, the posts that comprise the
ongoing discussion conducted by the list subscribers.
To obtain the logs:
FTP MARISTB.MARIST.EDU - the logs are in the CLINTON directory and are named CLINTON LOG9208 thru CLINTON LOGyymm where yymm stands for the current year and month. Problems should be directed to my attention: URLS@MARISTC.BITNET or URLS@VM.MARIST.EDU.
Posted by Lee Sakkas - owner, CLINTON@MARIST
4. Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility is providing all Clinton documents on technology and privacy at the CPSR Internet Library, available via FTP/WAIS/Gopher at cpsr.org /cpsr/clinton (and in other folders as relevant). For email access, send a message with the word "help" at the 1st line of text to email@example.com.
5. The FedWorld Computer System, operated by the National Technical Information Service, archives White House papers in a traditional BBS type file library. Connect to FedWorld by calling (703) 321-8020. No parity, eight data bits and one stop bit (N-8-1). FedWorld accommodates baud speeds of up to 9,600. It is also possible to Telnet to FedWorld at FedWorld.doc.gov. White House papers are located in the W-House library of files. To access this library from the main FedWorld menu,
enter <f s w-house>. Files are named with the first four digits being the release month and day (e.g. 0323XXX.txt). Some standard abbreviations after the date include:
rem - Remarks by the President
pc - Press Conference transcript
pr - Press Release
AM - AM Press Briefing
PM - PM Press Briefing
sch - The President's public schedule spch- Text of major speeches.
These files are saved in ASCII format. Files can be viewed online by requesting to download a file and then selecting (L)ist as the download protocol. This will display the file a screen at a time. White House papers are kept in the above format for up to two months. Papers more than two months old are compressed using Pkzip into a single file that contains all of the files for that month (e.g. 0193.zip contains all papers released during January 1993). In addition to White Documents, FedWorld also provides a gateway to more than 100 government funded BBSs and computer systems.
III. HOW DO I SEND EMAIL TO THE WHITE HOUSE?
We are pleased to introduce this new form of communication into the White House for the first time in history. As we work to reinvent government and streamline our processes, this electronic mail experiment will help put us on the leading edge of progress. Please remember, though, this is still very much an experiment.
The White House email system is under construction. This is a new project and suffers from all of the problems common to a startup operation. The Communications office is currently working on defining what this system will do, as well as trying to come up with equipment and staffing to make sure that it works.
Nobody wants this new venture to work more than the staff that has devoted so many hours to getting it up and running. But much time and effort will be required before the system is truly interactive. In the mean time, they will need a little patience from the electronic community.
When you send to the White House you will receive an immediate acknowledge that your message has been received. Email messages are currently being printed out and responses are being sent out via US Mail, so if you send a message to the White House, please include a US Post office address for replies.
You can send email to the following addresses:
Internet Direct: President@WhiteHouse.GOV
Please send corrections, deletion and additions to this FAQ to: