PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST IN THE INFORMATION AGE
November 8, 1999
President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked hard to keep America
at the cutting-edge of the Information Revolution, and to ensure that the
opportunities of the Information Age are available to all Americans.
During the last seven years, they have fought to connect every classroom to
the Internet, promote electronic commerce, bridge the "digital divide," and
increase our investment in long-term research that will create high-tech,
high-wage jobs. Under their leadership, more than half of classrooms and
90 percent of schools have been connected to the Internet. More than 100
million Americans now have access to the Internet, and electronic commerce
could reach $1.5 trillion by 2003 in the U.S. alone. During the last three
years, the information technology industry has accounted for 1/3 of U.S.
economic growth - and is generating jobs that pay almost 80 percent more
that the average private sector wage.
Connecting our children to the future: President Clinton and Vice
President Gore have set a goal of connecting every classroom and library to
the Internet by the year 2000. They also have fought for investments in
technology training for teachers, modern computers in the classroom, and
high-quality education software. Technology in the classroom can make it
easier for parents and teachers to communicate, prepare our children for
the high-tech workplace of the 21st century, and help improve student
performance in all academic subjects. As a result of the Clinton-Gore
educational technology initiative:
The number of classrooms connected to the Internet has increased from
4 percent in 1994 to 51 percent in 1998.
The "e-rate", part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, is providing
$2.25 billion in 20% - 90% discounts to connect schools and libraries to
the Internet, with the deepest discounts going to the poorest schools that
need it most.
Grants supported by the Department of Education are training 400,000
new teachers to use technology effectively in the classroom.
Promoting e-commerce: Electronic commerce is making it easier for
small businesses to reach hundreds of millions of customers around the
world. For consumers, e-commerce can mean more choice, greater
convenience, customized products, and lower prices. President Clinton and
Vice President Gore have pursued a policy that allows electronic commerce
to flourish by eliminating unnecessary government regulations, and relying
on private sector leadership whenever possible. The Administration has
made significant progress on many of its top e-commerce priorities,
The Internet Tax Freedom Act, which created a 3-year moratorium on
Internet access taxes and taxes that discriminate against e-commerce. The
Act also established a commission to look at the long-term tax issues
raised by e-commerce.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which helps protect America's
intellectual property in cyberspace.
Making cyberspace a "duty-free zone" by winning an agreement in the
World Trade Organization to place a temporary moratorium on duties on
Ensuring effective consumer protection online through industry
self-regulation and the prosecution of fraudulent practices under existing
consumer protection laws.
Encouraging the private sector to protect individual privacy through
self-regulation, third-party audits and enforcement mechanisms. In just
over a year, the number of commercial Web sites with privacy policies has
jumped from 15% to 66%.
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires
commercial Web sites to get a parent's permission before collecting
From "digital divide" to "digital opportunity": Currently, households
with more than $75,000 and higher are twenty times more likely to have
access to the Internet than those at the lowest income levels, and more
than nine times as likely to have a computer at home. In addition to
ensuring that all schools and libraries are connected to the Internet,
President Clinton and Vice President Gore have also taken other steps to
bridge the digital divide, including:
Increased investment in Community Technology Centers: The President's
FY2000 budget calls for $65 million to support Community Technology Centers
in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods, up from $10 million in FY99.
Supporting innovative applications of information technology for
low-income families through the Department of Commerce. Examples include
the use of telemedicine for prenatal care, telementoring for at-risk youth,
a national computer network for local food banks, and distance learning for
people who have lost their jobs.
Challenging the private sector to develop new business models for
low-cost computers and Internet access -- to make universal access at home
affordable for all Americans.
Keeping America at the cutting-edge of Internet technology: Today's
Internet is an outgrowth of U.S. government-funded research in the late
1960s (the ARPANET). To maintain America's technological edge, it is
critical that the government increase investment in long-term research.
That's why President Clinton and Vice President Gore have fought for the
"Next Generation Internet" - which is connecting universities and national
labs at speeds that are 1,000 times faster than today's Internet.
Scientists are developing new applications such as telemedicine - which
allows a doctor to see real-time imagery of a beating heart.