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                      FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

                        Updated October 1, 1993

                          Table Of Contents

        I.    Signing up for Daily Electronic Publications.
                A.  Widely Available Sources.
                B.  Notes on Widely Available Sources.
                C.  Direct Email Distribution.
                D.  Email Summary Service.

        II.   Searching and Retrieving White House documents.
                -  WAIS
                -  GOPHER
                -  FedWorld BBS

        III.  Sending Email to the White House.
                -  Internet Direct
                -  Forwarding From Other Networks


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 USENET/NETNEWS, electronic publications are found on a variety of groups:

Direct Distribution


        Indirect Distribution


2. On CompuServe: GO WHITEHOUSE

3. On America Online: keyword WHITEHOUSE or THE WHITEHOUSE or CLINTON

4. On The WELL: type whitehouse


6. On Fidonet: See Echomail WHITEHOUSE

7. On Peacenet or Econet: See pol.govinfo.usa.

8. On The Meta Network: Go Whitehouse

9. On GEnie: Type WHITEHOUSE or WHRT, or MOVE 1600


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

3.      On America Online, the posts are sent to the White House Forum,
        located in the News & Finance Department of the service or
        accessible via keywords: "white house" or "clinton".  The White
        House Forum on America Online contains the press releases from
        the White House, divided into the categories "Appointments",
        "Budget", "Congress", "Education", "Economy", "Foreign Policy",
        "Health Care", "Housing", "Labor", "Law and Order", "Meetings &
        Speeches", "Proclamations", "Technology", and "Vice President".
        The area features a message board so you can discuss the
        releases with other AOL members, a searchable database for easy
        retrieval of releases that interest you, a Library for longer
        releases from the White House, and a library that members can
        upload files of interest for other members.

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
        WHITE HOUSE NEWS.  A listing of these boards can also be
        obtained by simply typing VIEW WHITE HOUSE at the COMMAND

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

9.      GEnie's White House RoundTable has been established to
        distribute and discuss the official press releases and files
        relating to the White House and the Clinton Administration. The
        files library holds all of the press releases on the official
        mailing list, and the Bulletin Board has Categories set up with
        topics relating to all aspects of the Administration and
        Executive Branch of government.  Letters to the White House can
        be entered easily online with a menu option on the WHITEHOUSE


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:

                To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org
                Subject: Help

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,

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

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:

        To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org
        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:

        To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org
        Subject: STATUS

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:

        To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org
        Subject: HELP

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:

        To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org
        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:

        To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org
        Subject: WAIS

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.


The Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a daily summary of White House electronic publications.

  1. Subscriptions

To subscribe to the USDA Extension Service White House Summary service, send a message:

To: almanac@ESUSDA.GOV

        In the body of the message,
        type: subscribe wh-summary

To Unsubscribe from the USDA Extension Service White House Summary service, send a message:

To: almanac@ESUSDA.GOV

        In the body of the message,
        type: unsubscribe wh-summary

2. Document Retrieval

To request a specific document from the daily summaries, send a message

To: almanac@ESUSDA.GOV

        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

To: almanac@ESUSDA.GOV

        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

To: almanac@ESUSDA.GOV

        In the body of the message,
        type: send wh-summary catalog 

5. Further Information

If you have any questions about Almanac, please contact: wh-admin@ESUSDA.GOV


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.


  1. SUNSITE.UNC.EDU pub/academic/political-science/whitehouse-papers
  5. FedWorld Online System 703-321-8020 8-N-1 or:


Notes: The following are notes on how to log in and get

information from the above sites.

  1. Office FOR Information Technology at University of North Carolina Maintains the full collection of White House electronic release available for search with WAIS and also accessible via Gopher and FTP. 1.a WAIS

    (:source :version 3 :database-name "/home3/wais/White-House-Papers" :ipaddress

    "" :ip-name "" :tcp-port 210 :cost 0.00 :cost-unit :free :maintainer ""

        :description "Server created with WAIS release 8 b5 on  
        Feb 27 15:16:16 1993 by 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 The files of type filename used in 
        the index were: 
         papers/1993 ")

        Folks without WAIS clients or gophers that act as WAIS
        clients may telnet to 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'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
        ( Point there and you'll see the references to
        the Politics areas.

        For folks without gopher clients can telnet to
        to try out gopher acess. You need to have access to internet
        telnet and:
                        login: gopher 

        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
        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/clinton (and in other
        folders as relevant). For email access, send a message
        with the word "help" at the 1st line of text to

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
        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. 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.


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: