Reflection – written July 20, 1997
My journey to Washington started out on Monday evening, July 14, when I boarded the Delta shuttle. It was a harrowing trip that had to be restarted the next morning. I arrived at the National Press Club where IBM was hosting a planning meeting for all of those meeting with the President and the Vice President. This club is a venerable Washington institution, where presidents, would-be presidents, prime ministers, kings, and the like hold press briefings and press conferences. It was amusing to note on a flyer in the elevator that the special Club event that week was a training program on how to use the Internet!
The “pre-meeting” was hosted by Jerry Berman of the Center for Democracy & Technology. Roger Cochetti, IBM’s Washington-based Program Director for Internet Policy & Business Planning, reviewed the schedule and we spent some time sharing our view points on the important issues to be discussed in the meeting withVice President Gore. There was amazing consensus. It was a great opportunity to renew some old friendships and make some new ones.
We went as a group (about 25 of us) over to the Old Executive Office Building, the ornate 19th century office building located next to the White House that houses the White House staff. After going through a thorough security check, we went to the Vice President’s office, where we were led into a Baroque like conference room that the Vice President uses for his official meetings. Soon, Commerce Secretary Daleyand Vice President Gore arrived and our discussion began in earnest. A little later, the President arrived and we got into a broader discussion about the Internet and its role in our society. All three officials showed a significant depth in their understanding and support for the role of the Internet in making our society better.
Following the group meeting with the President and Vice President , we all went to a small auditorium in the same building where there was a large group of reporters and members of Congress. In this public and highly publicized event, the President and the Vice-president both reported favorably on the dialogue that we’d had and the heads of the National PTA and of America OnLine both addressed the important issues facing all of us as we deal with the question of how to make the Internet more friendly to children.
Resulting press coverage
- “Computer industry to announce anti-smut initiatives,” CNN, July 15, 1997.
- “Software Leaders Taking Ratings Plans to Clinton,” The Washington Post, July 16, 1997.
- “Administration, computer industry pledge anti-smut effort,” CNN, July 16, 1997.
- “Clinton U-turns On Info Superhighway,” Techwire, July 16, 1997.
- “Clinton: Hands off for policy, thumbs up for filters,” Inter@active Week Online, July 16, 1997.
- “Clinton backs private Internet efforts to protect kids,” Reuters, July 16, 1997.
- ” Clinton: Technology is the answer,” News.com, July 16, 1997.
- “Tech firms have Clinton’s ear,” News.com, July 16, 1997.
- “Clinton Lauds Internet Efforts to Police Content,” Bloomberg News, July 16, 1997.
- “White House, Net giants working on smut controls,” Associated Press, July 17, 1997.
Official White House Coverage:
- White House Strategy for a Family-Friendly Internet
- Remarks by the President at Event on the E-Chip for the Internet
- Statement by Vice President Al Gore
- Press Briefing by Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President
“Family-Friendly Internet” Links
- Recreational Software Advisory Council
- Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS)
- Internet Content Coalition
- American Library Association – the oldest and largest national library association in the world
- American Library Association launches parent education campaign about the Internet
- First Amendment related links on Yahoo
- CNN extended coverage of 1996 Supreme Court rejection of the Communications Decency Act
- Full text of Supreme Court Decision on 1996 Communications Decency Act
- Center for Democracy & Technology
- Electronic Privacy Information Center – established to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues relating to the National Information Infrastructure