THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION: LEADERSHIP FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM -- A
RECORD OF DIGITAL PROGRESS AND PROSPERITY
January 16, 2001
Chief of Staff John Podesta released today a report outlining the
Clinton-Gore Administration's record of digital progress and prosperity
and preparing the United States for the Information Age of the 21st
Over the last eight years, the Administration has harnessed the power of
the Internet to expand access to education, training, medical and health
information; empower our citizens and reinvent government; and spur
growth, raise productivity, limit inflation and create jobs.
The Third Annual Report of the U.S. Government Working Group on
Electronic Commerce, "Leadership for the New Millennium: Delivering on
Digital Progress and Prosperity," details the Administration's
accomplishments in promoting electronic commerce, using the Internet to
address our most urgent social challenges, and establishing a strategy
and vision for the future.
A LEGACY OF DIGITAL ACHIEVEMENT
Since 1993, the Clinton-Gore Administration has helped guide and
accelerate one of the most fundamental transformations in our country's
history. Information and communication technologies have altered the
way we play, work and do business.
The number of unique Internet addresses has ballooned from 1.3
million in 1993 to more than 93 million today and the number of Internet
users has increased by roughly 423 million.
At every income level, but especially at middle income levels,
Americans are connecting at far higher rates from their homes than even
two years ago. Today, more than two-thirds of all households earning
more than $50,000 have Internet connections.
The number of personal computers installed in classrooms tripled
from 1992 to 1999, with the number of educational users of the Internet
projected to exceed 110 million by the year 2003.
The Clinton-Gore Administration has vastly expanded access to
higher quality medical information online. A recent survey found that
about half of Americans online who use the Internet to search for
medical information believe the Internet has improved they way they take
care of themselves.
When the Clinton-Gore Administration began, there was no
appreciable business activity online. While estimates vary, some
suggest that business-to-consumer e-commerce could total $61 billion in
2000, and business-to-business e-commerce could total about $184
The expanded use of information technologies has produced profound
changes in the overall economy. Despite a modest 8.3 percent share of
the economy, IT industries have contributed 30 percent of U.S. economic
growth since 1995 and accounted for half or more of the recent
acceleration in U.S. productivity growth while generating hundreds of
thousands of new jobs.
CREATING DIGITAL EQUALITY
The Clinton-Gore Administration has helped widen the circle of digital
opportunity. Among other steps, the Administration has:
Created the e-rate program, which is benefiting more than 90
percent of America's public schools and providing Internet access for 30
million children in more than one million classrooms and 47,000 schools
Proposed tripling funding for Community Technology Centers in its
FY 2001 budget to $100 million to create up to 1,000 new centers. These
centers will help to close the digital divide by providing computers and
Information Age tools to children and adults unable to afford them at
Helped disabled persons get access to the Internet by supporting
the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative; creating
an interagency task force to explore enhancing Medicare and Medicaid to
help pay for assistive technologies; creating state-based loan programs
for the purchase of assistive technology; and awarding $9 million to
AmeriCorps to put 1,200 volunteers into schools and communities to teach
students with disabilities and others Internet skills.
BUILDING AN E-SOCIETY
The Administration has helped deliver on the potential of the Internet
to improve our quality of life. Among other steps, the Administration
Moved rapidly to deploy state-of-the-art technology to bring
primary care and specialty medicine to remote communities. Currently,
there are almost 40 telemedicine programs and partnerships within the
Indian Health Service alone that are delivering care to isolated
Put online, accurate, up-to-date, quality health care information
from the world's largest medical library, the National Library of
Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. The MedlinePlus service
provides access to extensive information about specific diseases and
conditions, and has links to consumer health information, dictionaries,
lists of hospitals and physicians, health information in Spanish and
other languages, and clinical trials.
Awarded $18.7 million to link hospitals, schools, doctors,
educators, patients and students in rural America with medical research
institutions, universities, libraries, doctors, educators, and
professors; and deployed Mobil Internet Vans to provide IT training in
The Clinton-Gore Administration has used digital technologies to make
government more accountable, efficient and responsive to its citizens
than ever before. Among other steps, the Administration has:
Launched the first-ever website that provides the public with easy,
one-stop access to all Federal government online information and
services. The customer-focused FirstGov permits users to search 27
million Federal agency web pages instantaneously by subject or by
Directed agencies, under the Government Paperwork Elimination Act
(GPEA), in May to plan for electronic filing by October 2003 and to use
electronic signatures for the full range of government activities and
services, considering risks, costs, and benefits.
The Administration also has put hundreds of services online,
including those that allow citizens to pay their taxes, consolidate
student loans, receive estimates of social security benefits, compare
Medicare health plans, and reserve a campsite.
ENHANCING CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to protect consumers and
other users of the Internet. Among other steps, the Administration has:
Enhanced consumer protection by successfully challenging industry
to establish codes of conduct, encouraging consumer education, and
aggressively fighting misleading and deceptive practices online.
The number of commercial websites that post privacy policies has
jumped from 2 percent in 1998 to 62 percent this year.
The FTC issued rules to implement the Children's Online Privacy
Protection Act in April 2000. The Administration actively supported
enactment of this Act, which requires sites aimed at children to get
verifiable parental consent before they gather and use personal
information received from children under 13.
The United States and the European Commission completed the safe
harbor privacy accord, which helps to ensure that trans-Atlantic data
flows will not be interrupted. This landmark accord is enhancing
privacy protection for U.S. consumers and assuring effective privacy
protection for European citizens whose data is transferred to the United
CREATING A GLOBAL SEAMLESS MARKETPLACE
The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to create a seamless global
marketplace that will allow e-commerce and the Internet to reach their
President Clinton signed into law the Electronic Signatures in
Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) on June 30, 2000. E-SIGN
promotes electronic commerce by ensuring explicitly the legal validity
of electronic records, signatures, and transactions.
This year the Administration continued to build on the successful
May 1998 WTO electronic commerce declaration to formally extend the
existing moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions and
continue the WTO work program regarding the application of all trade
disciplines to e-commerce.
The Administration has encouraged worldwide support for the WIPO
Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty through
trade negotiations, speeches, and participation in conferences. As of
November 2000, 21 and 19 countries respectively, had ratified the two
treaties, representing all geographical regions of the world.