FACT SHEET: President Clinton and Vice President Gore: A Record of Leadership in Electronic Government and Technology
                President Clinton and Vice President Gore:
      A Record of Leadership in Electronic Government and Technology
                            September 21, 2000

President Clinton and Vice President Gore have used the power of the
Internet to cut red tape and make government more responsive to the needs
of citizens. Today, as a result of the President and Vice President?s
leadership, every Cabinet department has a web site to make information and
services available to the American people at the touch of a button. Small
businesses can get information on loans, parents can find information about
financial aid, and taxpayers can file their taxes and find answers to their
questions -- all on government web sites.  With the launch of FirstGov, all
of the government's online resources will be available and searchable at a
single website.  This new site builds on the Clinton-Gore Administration's
record of leadership in expanding electronic government and fostering the
growth of technology.  As the first Administration of the Internet Age,
President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked to expand the use of
technology in schools, to bridge the digital divide and make technology
available for all Americans, to promote electronic commerce, and accelerate
research and development that will help create more high-paying jobs in the

President Clinton and Vice President Gore 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 overall investment in education technology has increased from $23
million in 1993 to $769 million in FY 2000.
? The number of classrooms connected to the Internet classrooms connected
to the Internet has increased from 3 percent in 1993 to 65 percent in 1999.
? The "E-rate," proposed by the Vice President and passed as 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. Over
647,000 classrooms will be connected to the Internet as a direct result of
E-Rate discounts and, in part because of these efforts, 90 percent of the
poorest schools now have access to the Internet.
? Grants supported by the Department of Education are training 400,000 new
teachers to use technology effectively in the classroom.  The Clinton-Gore
Administration?s FY 2001 budget proposes doubling last year's investment of
$75 million to ensure that all new teachers entering the workforce are
computer literate and can integrate technology into the curriculum.

Currently, 80 percent of households with an income of $75,000 or above have
computers, compared to 16 percent of households earning $10,000 - $15,0000.
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 and create new opportunity for all

? Since 1992, the President and Vice President have tripled funding for
Community Technology Centers.  The President's FY 2001 budget calls for
$100 million to create 1,000 Community Technology Centers that will expand
computer and Internet access in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods.
? The President and Vice President are 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.
? The Administration has challenged 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.
? President Clinton successfully mobilized major public and private efforts
bridge the digital divide in his April 2000 trip to East Palo Alto,
California; Shiprock, New Mexico; Chicago, Illinois; and rural North
Carolina.  Over 400 companies and non-profit organizations signed a
"National Call To Action" to bring digital opportunity to youth, families,
and communities.  The call to action set goals such as ensuring that every
child is technologically literate, and making home access to the Internet
as ubiquitous as the telephone.

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:

? President Clinton signed into law the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which
created a 3-year moratorium on Internet access taxes and taxes that
discriminate against e-commerce and established a commission to look at the
long-term tax issues raised by e-commerce.
? The Clinton-Gore Administration won an agreement in the World Trade
Organization to place a temporary moratorium on duties on electronic
transmissions -- making cyberspace a "duty-free zone."
? On June 30, 2000, the President signed the Electronic Signatures in
Global and National Commerce Act, which gives online contracts the same
force of law as paper contracts.  Customers can finalize mortgages, sign
insurance contracts, or open brokerage accounts.
? In October 1998, the President signed the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act, helping to protect America's intellectual property in cyberspace.
? The President and Vice President have encouraged 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
Internet sites with privacy policies has increased from 15 percent to 66
? President Clinton signed the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act,
which requires commercial Web sites to get a parent's permission before
collecting personal information from minors.  In May 1999, Vice President
Gore announced the Parents' Protection Page, an important new commitment by
Internet companies to give parents the resources to protect their children
from inappropriate material on the Internet and the knowledge to supervise
and guide their children's online activities.
? The Administration is now working to provide easy access to grant and
procurement opportunities. This year, the federal government will award
roughly $300 billion in grants and buy $200 billion in goods and services.
Over the coming year, the Administration will make it possible for people
to go online and learn about the vast majority of these procurements and
grant opportunities through a simple process.

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 increases 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.  The FY
2001 budget invests $2.3 billion in the Information Technology R&D program,
which includes $89 million for the Next Generation Internet.  Every budget
the Clinton-Gore Administration has submitted to Congress has increased
investments in research and deployment, helping to develop the ideas that
will be reflected in productivity growth for decades to come.

? First Vice Presidential Town Hall: The Vice President became the first
nationally elected official to participate in a live, electronic town
meeting on June 13, 1994.
? First Presidential Webchat: On November 9, 1999, President Clinton took
part in the first online chat between a sitting President and citizens of
the United States.
? First Electronic Bill Signing: On June 30, 2000, the President signed the
Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act with a ?smart
? First Saturday Web Address: On June 24, 2000, President Clinton brought
the tradition of the Saturday Presidential Radio Address online when he
first announced that within 90 days, citizens would be able to search all
on-line resources offered by the federal government from FirstGov.

Today, exactly 90 days after his Web address announcement, the President is
launching FirstGov, a single point-of-entry to one of the largest and most
useful collection of web pages in the world.  This cutting-edge site will
bring government closer to the American people, expanding the reach of
democracy and making government more responsive to citizens.  The FirstGov
website will:

? Make it faster and easier for citizens to locate government information
and services, allowing them to access government information 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week.
? Allow citizens to search for government information by topic, rather than
by agency.
? Searches half a billion documents in less than one-quarter of a second.
? Employs strong privacy standards to safeguard citizens' online
communications and transactions with the government.

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