THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 3, 2000
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
AMERICA'S AGENDA FOR THE INFORMATION AGE
March 3, 2000
Today in a speech in Silicon Valley, the President will outline his
agenda to ensure that America continues to lead the world in the
Information Age, and that more Americans have the opportunity to
participate in the extraordinary technology revolution. To ensure that
government is doing its part to keep the Internet secure, the President
will issue an Executive Memorandum directing agencies to safeguard their
systems against the "denial of service" attacks that shut down a number
of high-profile web sites last month. The President will also challenge
Internet companies to improve their privacy policies, and will highlight
the importance of bridging the "digital divide."
The President will speak at the Aspen Institute's Forum on
Communications and Society before an audience of high-tech executives,
educators, and leaders of non-profit organizations and foundations.
KEEPING AMERICA AT THE CUTTING-EDGE OF THE INFORMATION REVOLUTION
Information technology and the Internet are driving the U.S. economy --
accounting for 1/3 of U.S. economic growth, generating jobs that pay
almost 80 percent more than the private sector average, and changing the
way companies in all industries do business. President Clinton's
forward-looking agenda will help strengthen America's leadership in the
digital economy by:
- Strengthening the security of the Internet: The digital economy must
be built on a strong and secure foundation. In January, the President
released the first National Plan for Information Systems Protection, and
called for $2 billion in federal investments and a partnership with
industry. Last month, President Clinton convened a summit of industry
leaders, academic researchers and privacy experts to further joint
- Today, the President will issue a directive to federal agencies to
safeguard their systems against "denial of service" attacks. He will
ask his Chief of Staff, John Podesta, to coordinate a review of
federal government vulnerabilities in this area.
- Investing in long-term research and development with a $3 billion
budget increase: The President has proposed an almost $3 billion
increase in the "21st Century Research Fund" in his FY2001 budget, with
a $600 million increase in information technology research and a new,
$500 million initiative in nanotechnology. Nanotechnology could lead to
the ability to store the equivalent of the Library of Congress in a
device the size of a sugar cube. Many of the innovations that are
driving today's economy (e.g. the Internet) are the direct result of
government-supported research in the 1960's and 1970's.
- Challenging the private sector to improve privacy protection on the
Internet: Concerns about privacy are one of the top reasons that people
don't shop online. The Administration has challenged the private sector
to engage in effective self-regulation, with enforcement by
organizations such as BBBOnline and TRUSTe. More than 2,500 companies
have joined one of these organizations, or have applications pending.
Today, President Clinton will challenge Internet companies to improve
the quality of their privacy policies. High-quality privacy policies
are based on "fair information practices" such as:
- Notice about what information is collected and how it will be used;
- Choice about whether personal information will be shared with third
- Access to the information that the site has collected, including the
right to check it for inaccuracies; and
- Security of the information during its transmission and storage.
FROM DIGITAL DIVIDE TO DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY
President Clinton and Vice President Gore believe that access to
technology and the skills needed to use it are becoming increasingly
important for full participation in America's economic, political and
social life. That's why President Clinton has proposed significant new
initiatives to create digital opportunity for our children, families and
communities. He will lead a New Markets trip this April designed to
mobilize significant private and public efforts to close the digital
divide. Initiatives that the President has proposed in his FY2001
- $2 billion over 10 years in tax incentives to encourage private sector
donations of computers, sponsorship of community technology centers, and
technology training for workers.
- $150 million to help train all new teachers entering the workforce to
use technology effectively.
- $100 million to create 1,000 Community Technology Centers in
low-income urban and rural neighborhoods.
- $50 million for a public-private partnership to expand home access to
computers and the Internet for low-income families.
A STRONG RECORD OF GROWING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
AND CREATING DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY
March 3, 2000
President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked hard to grow the
digital economy and to help create opportunity for more Americans in the
To strengthen America's high-tech competitiveness and promote e-commerce
and the Internet, the Administration has:
- Opened up foreign markets for high-tech goods, cracked down on foreign
piracy and liberalized export controls on computers and
telecommunications equipment. This includes the Information Technology
Agreement (ITA), which will eventually eliminate tariffs on $600 billion
worth of goods, and the World Trade Organization's Basic
Telecommunications Agreement, which will promote competition and
privatization in a global telecommunications services market worth $1
- Extended the Research and Experimentation tax credit, including a
5-year extension last year, the longest extension ever.
- Passed the first comprehensive telecommunications reform legislation
in over sixty years in order to lower prices, increase customer choice,
and speed the deployment of high-speed networks.
- Submitted budgets containing steadily increasing investments in
research and development, helping to develop the ideas that will fuel
productivity growth for decades to come.
- Promoted a market-led approach on e-commerce that relies on
self-regulation whenever possible.
To help close the digital divide, President Clinton and Vice President
Gore have set a national goal of ensuring that every child is
technologically literate, with Internet access, modern computers,
trained teachers, and high-quality educational software. As a result of
- The number of classrooms connected to the Internet has increased from
4 percent in 1994 to 63 percent in 1999, while the number of schools
connected to the Internet has increased from 35 percent to 95 percent
during the same period.
- The "e-rate", part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, is providing
$2.25 billion (in the form of 20% - 90% discounts) to connect schools
and libraries to the Internet, with the deepest discounts going to the
poorest schools. The e-rate alone has provided Internet access for
children in more than 1 million classrooms.
- Our total investment in educational technology at the federal level
(including the e-rate) has increased from $23 million in 1993 to over $3
- Grants supported by the Department of Education are training 400,000
new teachers to use technology effectively in the classroom.