PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE
Increasing Technology Access and Innovation
"In the new century, innovations in science and technology will be
key not only to the health of the environment, but to miraculous improvements
in the quality of our lives and advances in the economy."
-- President Bill Clinton
January 27, 2000
Bridging the Digital Divide
Closing the Digital Divide. Access to computers and the Internet
is becoming increasingly important in American life, but there is a growing
"digital divide" between those who have access to information technology and
those who do not. To help make access to
computers and the Internet as universal as the telephone, the Clinton-Gore
Administration is proposing a comprehensive initiative to bridge the digital
divide and create new opportunity for all Americans. Their FY 2001 budget
includes proposals to: broaden access to technologies such as computers, the
Internet, and high-speed networks; provide people with the skilled teachers and
the training they need to master the information economy; and promote online
content and applications that will help empower all Americans to use new
technologies to their fullest potential.
Expanding High-Speed Internet Access. President Clinton's third
New Markets tour highlighted the importance of closing the digital divide and
bringing the benefits of technology to underserved communities. High-speed
Internet access is becoming as important to the economic vitality of a
community as roads and bridges are today, allowing people to upgrade skills
using distance learning and helping businesses communicate electronically with
customers and suppliers. The President's FY 2001 budget includes a new $25
million program at the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture to accelerate
private sector deployment of broadband networks in under-served urban and rural
communities -- using grants and loan guarantees. [White House
Fact Sheet, 2/2/00]
Taking Executive Action to Bridge the Digital Divide. In December
1999, President Clinton directed Cabinet secretaries to take specific actions
to close the digital divide, such as expanding Community Technology Centers in
low-income neighborhoods, continuing to measure the extent of the digital
divide, and helping low-income workers gain the skills needed to compete for
high-paying information technology jobs.
Launching the Digital Divide Network. In December 1999, the
President also announced the launch of the Digital Divide Network, an
Internet-based information clearinghouse on public and private efforts to bring
technology to underserved communities; and the formation of the Digital
Opportunity Partnership, an alliance between the private sector and civil and
human rights organizations to bring high technology to the doorstep of
nonprofit organizations. He also announced a commitment by the Congress of
National Black Churches to make the digital divide a top civil rights
Providing Start-Up Money for Innovative Telecommunications
Technology. The Clinton-Gore Administration's FY 2001 budget includes $45.1
million -- triple last year's funding -- for the Technology Opportunity Program
(TOP), which is a major piece of the Digital Divide initiative. TOP helps
increase access to technology by providing start-up money for innovative
projects using advanced technology in the public and non-profit sectors.
[Department of Commerce Fact Sheet, "NTIA Budget Highlights to
Help Close Digital Divide," 2/2/00]
Bringing Computers to Public Housing Neighborhoods Across the
Country. The Clinton-Gore Administration has created approximately 500
Neighborhood Network learning centers, which are innovative public/private
partnerships that bring state of the art technology to public housing across
America and help people learn critical computer skills.
Expanding Access to Technology for Native Americans. The
Clinton-Gore Administration is proposing a new initiative to encourage Native
Americans to pursue information technology and other science and technology
fields as areas of study as well as to increase the capacity of Tribal colleges
to offer courses in these areas. The FY 2001 budget provides $10 million, to be
administered by the National Science Foundation, for grants to Tribal colleges
for networking and access; course development; student assistance; and capacity
Expanding Access to Education Technology
Increased Investment in Education Technology. With the Vice
President's leadership, the Clinton-Gore Administration has made increasing
access to technology a top priority. The President and Vice President have
increased overall investments in education technology from $23 million in 1993
to $769 million in FY 2000.
Created the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund. The President and
Vice President created the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund in 1997 to help
states provide software and Internet access for students, increase the number
of multimedia computers in the classroom and provide technology training for
teachers. The President won $425 million for this program in FY 2000, and his
FY 2001 budget includes an additional $25 million.
Connecting Schools and Libraries to the Internet with the E-Rate.
The President and Vice President created the E-rate program, which secures
low-cost connections to the Internet for schools, libraries, rural health
clinics and hospitals. The E-rate is benefiting more than 80 percent of
America's public schools and providing Internet access for 30 million children
in more than one million classrooms and 47,000 schools and libraries.
Innovative Approaches to Putting Computers in the Classroom. As a
part of the Clinton-Gore Administration's effort to make computers available in
every American classroom, President Clinton signed an executive order to
streamline the transfer of surplus Federal computer equipment to schools and
encourage Federal employees to volunteer their time and expertise to assist
teachers and wire classrooms. The Administration also proposed tax incentives
for companies that donate computers to schools, a $2 billion plan that spans 10
More Classrooms Connected to the Internet. In 1999, 95 percent of
public schools were connected to the Internet -- up from 35 percent in 1994.
Also in 1999, 63 percent of all public school classrooms were connected to the
Internet -- up from just 3 percent in 1994. This is a substantial advancement
toward reaching the Clinton-Gore Administration's goal of connecting every
classroom to the Internet.
Technology Training for Teachers. According to the National
Center for Education Statistics, only 20 percent of teachers report that they
are "very well prepared" to integrate technology into classroom. President
Clinton's FY 2001 budget calls for $150 million -- double 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. Already, grants through the Education Department are training
400,000 new teachers to use computers effectively in the classroom.
Tripled Funding for Community Technology Centers. The
Clinton-Gore Administration tripled funding for Community Technology Centers to
reach at least 120 low-income communities, helping to close the digital divide
by providing computers and Information Age tools to children and adults unable
to afford them at home. The Administration also increased investment in
education research to ensure all children benefit from educational technology.
Building the New Economy
Removing Barriers to Electronic Commerce. For consumers,
e-commerce can mean more choice, greater convenience, customized products, and
lower prices. To ensure the continued growth of e-commerce, Vice
President Gore announced a new initiative in November 1999, to revise laws and
regulations that impose barriers to the growth of electronic commerce. A
working group will gather comments from the public, State and Local
governments, and Federal agencies, and develop recommendations to facilitate
e-commerce while ensuring consumer protection.
Moratorium on Internet Taxes. 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 also succeeded in making cyberspace a "duty-free
zone" by winning an agreement in the World Trade Organization to place a
temporary moratorium on duties on electronic transmissions.
Enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In October 1998,
the President signed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act into law, helping to
protect America's intellectual property in cyberspace.
Building the Next Generation Internet. 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
continues to 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. 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
Promoting Competition in a Global Telecommunications Services Market.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore opened 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, which will eventually eliminate tariffs on $600 billion
worth of goods, and the World Trade Organizations Basic Telecommunications
Agreement, which will promote competition and privatization in a global
telecommunications services market worth $1 trillion.
Extended Tax Credits for Research and Experimentation. The
Clinton-Gore Administration extended the Research and Experimentation tax
credit for another five years, through 2004, the longest expansion of this
policy ever. Extending the tax credit will
encourage companies to undertake new multi-year research activities, secure in
the knowledge that the 20 percent tax credit will continue to be available.
Enacted Comprehensive Telecommunications Reform. In 1997,
President Clinton signed the first comprehensive telecommunications reform
legislation in over sixty years, which lowered prices, increased customer
choice, and sped the deployment of new technology.
Winning Approval for the High Tech Agenda. Working with Congress
on a bipartisan basis, the Clinton-Gore Administration succeeded in winning
approval for key components of its 1999 high-tech agenda -- including the
extension of the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, increasing balanced
investments in long-term research and development, reforming the patent system
for America's new entrepreneurs, and increasing competition between satellite
and cable TV companies. This agenda that will foster economic growth, improve
America's ability to compete and win in global markets, and help create more
high-tech, high-wage jobs.
Strengthening Security and Privacy on the
Strengthening Internet and Computer Network Security. In 1997,
President Clinton commissioned the National Plan for Information Systems
Protection, which established the first national strategy for protecting the
nation's computer networks from deliberate attacks. The President also convened
a meeting of Internet and e-commerce companies to announce the formation of the
Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security, which will maximize
cooperation between government and private sector initiatives for
Fighting Cyber Terrorism. The Clinton-Gore Administration is
providing funding for development of the Federal Intrusion Detection Network, a
cyber "burglar alarm" which will alert the federal government to cyber attacks,
provide recommended defenses, establish information security readiness levels,
and ensure the rapid implementation of system "patches' for known software
Working to Ensure Consumer Protection and Privacy on the Internet.
The Clinton-Gore Administration has encouraged consumer protection online
through industry self-regulation and the prosecution of fraudulent practices
under existing consumer protection laws. The President and Vice President have
also 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 percent.
Protecting Children on the Internet. President Clinton signed
into law 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. The Parents' Protection Page will
provide parents with the tools and knowledge to supervise and guide their
children's online activities.
Strengthening the Institute for Information Infrastructure
Protection. This year, the President has requested $50 million in
additional funding for the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection.
He has also requested $4 million in a supplemental appropriation to jump-start
the Institute's work.
Promoting Cyber Security Training and Education. The Clinton-Gore
Administration has proposed a Federal Cyber Services Training and Education
initiative, which includes two programs: an ROTC-like program where the
government pays for Information Technology education in exchange for federal
service; and a program to establish competencies and certification for the
country's existing Information Technology workforce.
Directing Cyber Security in the Federal Government. The
Clinton-Gore Administration has directed federal agencies to develop Critical
Infrastructure Plans, which have been reviewed by a newly created Expert Review
Team of federal computer security experts, to protect their computer systems.
And in March 2000, the President issued a directive to federal agencies to
renew their efforts to safeguard their computer systems from denial-of-service
attacks on the Internet. The President's Chief of Staff will
coordinate a review of federal government
vulnerabilities in this area.
Preventing Computer Software Piracy. A critical component of our
discussions with international trading partners concerns their efforts to
combat piracy of computer software and other intellectual property. In order to
set an example for the world, President Clinton signed an executive order in
September 1998 directing each executive agency to work to prevent and combat
computer software piracy. The United States government is the world's largest
purchaser of computer-related services and equipment, purchasing more than $20
Fighting Crime on the Internet. In August 1999, the Vice
President announced an executive order establishing a working group charged
with addressing unlawful conduct carried out over the Internet -- such as the
illegal sale of guns, explosives, and controlled substances. The working group
will provide a forum to develop creative solutions to the new challenges posed
by crime on the Internet.
Science, Health and Space Exploration
Increasing Investment in Science and Technology. Under President
Clinton and Vice President Gore, investments in science and technology have
increased for five years in a row, and the Administration maintains that
commitment in the FY 2001 budget. The National Science Foundation (NSF), which
supports much of the research that trains the next generation of America's
scientists and engineers, saw a 10 percent ($344 million) budget increase in FY
1999, bringing the NSF budget to $3.8 billion. This is the largest ever
increase for NSF, and includes more than a 16 percent boost for computer
science research. In addition, a new partnership between the Education
Department and the National Science Foundation receives $75 million per year
for research aimed at raising student achievement through learning
Committing to a Strong National Space Program. Issued in 1996,
the President's National Space Policy commits the nation to a strong, stable,
and balanced space program. The FY 2001 budget request of $14 billion will
enable NASA to continue to pursue the Clinton-Gore Administration's priorities
in human space flight, earth sciences, advanced space transportation, aviation
safety and space science. Through the 21st Century Research
Fund for America, the President adds $200 million over the next year to NASA's
space science program.
Leading the Way for Global
Partnerships in Science and Development. The Clinton-Gore Administration has helped blaze
the trail in international science and technology cooperation by supporting the
National Science Foundation's partnership with scientists from 45 countries to
build the Large Hadron Collider. The LHC project was devised for high-energy
physics research in Europe, and is a key milestone for international
partnerships in science and technology -- one which will become a standard for
our domestic science programs in the future.
Expanding Opportunities for
Women and Minorities. The
Clinton-Gore Administration has expanded opportunities for women, minorities
and people with disabilities to pursue scientific and technical careers through
programs like the Alliance for Minority Participation at the National Science
Foundation and a new presidential mentoring award.
Technologies.The Clinton-Gore Administration has taken important steps to make
mainstream information and communications technologies
accessible to people with disabilities in order to
promote full participation in our society by all
Americans. In 1998, the President signed the Assistive
Technology Act to support grants to states to improve
access to assistive technology devices and services.
The Administration also used the federal government's
purchasing power and example to promote accessible,
universally designed technology. On the 10th
Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act,
the President announced a new website, www.disAbility.gov,
which serves as a "one-stop" electronic link to the
enormous range of useful information available throughout
the federal government for people with disabilities and
their families. The Vice-President also announced a
national strategy and investment in accessible
technologies and universal design. The Clinton-Gore
Administration has also fostered public private
collaborations, including commitments by high tech
companies, research firms, and non-profit organizations,
to enhance the development, accessibility, and
affordability of technology for people with disabilities.
Developing Cleaner Energy to Reduce Greenhouse Emissions. In
February 2000, the President proposed a $4 billion package of tax incentives
over five years to help reduce greenhouse emissions by spurring the purchase of
energy efficient products and the use of renewable energy. This includes tax
credits for the purchase of an energy efficient home; for the purchase of
fuel-efficient cars; and for clean energy, such as the
production of electricity from wind and
closed-loop biomass. The package also proposes tax credits for businesses that
produce electricity from biomass. Biomass refers to trees, crops and
agricultural wastes used to produce power, fuels or chemicals.
Unprecedented Investment in
Biomedical Research. Two years
ago, the President called for an increase of almost 50 percent over five years
in the NIH budget as part of his Research for America Fund. Since that time,
the NIH budget has increased by over $4.3 billion and with the funding proposed
by the President this year the Administration will be one year ahead of
schedule in reaching the 50 percent goal. As a result, NIH now supports the
highest levels of research ever on nearly all types of disease and health
conditions, making new breakthroughs possible in the AIDS vaccine development
and use, the treatment of chronic disease, and prevention and treatment of
diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and
neurological diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
Mapping the Human Genome. As a part of overall NIH funding, the
Clinton-Gore Administration has strongly supported the efforts of the National
Human Genome Research Institute to map the entire human genome. The Human
Genome Project expects to have a complete "working draft" of the human genome
by the end of this year. The completed map will dramatically change medical
care, opening new doors in the effort to learn more about detection, treatment,
and prevention of serious diseases.
Ensuring that the Human Genome Project Remains a Global Effort.
On March 14, 2000, President Clinton announced that he and British Prime
Minister Tony Blair have agreed on a statement of principle to ensure that
discoveries from the human genome are used to advance human health. Their joint
statement applauds researchers who have made their raw human genome sequence
data freely available to the global scientific community and calls upon others
to follow their lead.
Increasing Funding for Nanotechnology Research. Nanotechnology
research is the new frontier of technology innovation and has the potential for
improving the environment, creating lighter and stronger metals, and fighting
disease. These developments are likely to change the way almost everything -
from vaccines to computers to automobile tires to objects not yet imagined --
is designed and made. President Clinton's FY 2001 budget continues our
investment in nanotechnology research and development with a $227 million
increase in the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
Using the Internet to Improve the Lives of
Moving the Government Online. President Clinton and Vice
President Gore have used the power of the Internet to make government work
better for people. Every Cabinet department is online, using web sites to make
information and services available to the American people at the touch of a
button. Small businesses can get information on loans from the Small Business
Administration's web page; parents can find information about financial aid
from the Department of Education; and taxpayers can download tax forms and find
answers to their questions from the Internal Revenue Service's web site.
Improving Access to Health Information. In April 1997, Vice
President Gore and Health and Human Services Secretary Shalala launched
healthfinder, a gateway site on the Internet that is making it easier
for Americans to find health information on the World Wide Web. The site (www.healthfinder.gov) provides links to
reliable health information -- from tips on choosing a doctor or a course of
treatment, to information on how to stay healthy, to news on the latest
Providing One-Stop Access to Government Services for Seniors.
Vice President Gore unveiled Access America for Seniors, an Internet site
providing a wide range of services to older Americans on February 23, 1999. The
Internet site (www.seniors.gov) provides
information and services offered by virtually every major Federal government
agency, civilian and military.
Using the Internet to Increase Adoptions. President Clinton has
set a goal of doubling the number of adoptions and other permanent placements
from the public child welfare system by 2002. To help reach that goal, in
November 1998 the President directed the Department of Health and Human
Services to expand the use of the Internet as a tool to link children in foster
care more quickly with possible adoptive families. HHS will launch a national
web site by September 2001 to break down geographic barriers to adoption.
Presidential Online Firsts. On November 9, 1999, President
Clinton took part in the first online chat between a sitting President and
citizens of the United States. The online chat lasted for 90 minutes and was
moderated by the Democratic Leadership Council and the Internet firm
ExiteAtHome. On February 14, 2000, President Clinton participated in the first
online chat with a news organization in history. CNN.com hosted the historic
event and allowed ordinary citizens to post messages for the president to
answer. President Clinton tackled questions ranging from Internet security to
the Middle East peace process in the half-hour chat session. President
Clinton also became the first president in history to shop online in December
1999, when he went Christmas shopping from his desk in the Oval Office -- he
purchased jewelry and children's books.