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Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 19:32:37 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]

>16 July 1997 
>(Netscape commits to family-friendly policy)  (1380)
>Washington -- President Clinton announced July 16 that Netscape
>Communications has committed to add family-friendly controls to the
>next release of its popular Internet browser.
>"Parents who use the Netscape browser to explore the Internet will be
>able to tell the browser precisely what types of materials they do not
>wish their children to see," the President told an audience in the
>East Room of the White House.
>"Microsoft, which also offers a popular Internet browser, has already
>incorporated this technology," Clinton said.
>"Therefore," he said, "with Netscape's pledge today, we now have
>assurance that 90 percent of all software used to explore the Internet
>will have family-friendly controls built right in. It's also important
>to note that all of the major companies that offer Internet service
>now provide some form of family-friendly controls. And I commend all
>of them for that."
>Following is the White House transcript:
>(begin transcript)
>July 16, 1997
>The East Room
>THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Lois Jean, and thank you, Steve
>Case. Thank you, Mr. Vice President, for all the work you've done on
>this issue. And to Secretary Daley, Commissioner Varney, Deputy
>Attorney General Waxman, and the members of Congress who had to go for
>a vote. I thank all of you for your interest. And thank you, all of
>you, who come here from the various companies who were part of the
>Vice President's meeting this morning and from other interested
>I think it's fair to say that history will evaluate the Internet as
>having sparked a revolution in information perhaps every bit as
>profound as the printing press. For today, at the click of a mouse,
>children can tap into the resources of the Library of Congress, to a
>great museum, communicate with classrooms around the world.
>I am particularly proud to point out that the Internet allows us now
>to join beyond the Earth. Just since July 4, NASA's Mars Pathfinder
>Web site has received more than 27 million visits. And we are very
>proud of that, and proud of NASA.
>But we all know and we've heard the horror stories about the
>inappropriate material for children that can be found on the Internet.
>We know children can be victimized over the Internet. After the
>Supreme Court struck down the portion of the Communications Decency
>Act last month affecting this as an abridgement of free speech, we
>brought together industry leaders and groups representing teachers,
>parents, librarians to discuss where to go next.
>This morning there was a discussion that I believe can fairly be said
>to have reached a consensus about how to pave the way to a
>family-friendly Internet without paving over the constitutional
>guarantees of free speech and free expression. The plan has three
>components -- new technologies, enforcement of existing laws, more
>active participation of parents.
>As you have heard already with regard to technology, the computer
>industry is developing a whole toolbox full of technologies that can
>do for the Internet what the V-chip will do for television. Some of
>the tools are already widely in use, as Steve said. They give parents
>the power to unlock -- or and to lock the digital doors to
>objectionable content.
>Now we have to make these tools more readily available to all parents
>and all teachers in America, and as new tools come on line, we have to
>distribute them quickly and we have to make sure that parents are
>trained to use them.
>In an extremely adroit use of language in our meeting earlier, one of
>the leaders said, well, Mr. President, you've talked about how
>technologically inept you are; perhaps you would be our guinea pig as
>each new thing comes along -- (laughter) -- and then we could
>certainly certify that, if you can figure out how to use it, anybody
>can. (Laughter.) And so I sort of volunteered. Having been damned with
>faint praise, I enjoyed that. (Laughter.)
>But I think it is important, it is important to know not only that
>things exist but that they are being used and that they can be used.
>So we had a little laugh about what is a very serious element of this
>whole endeavor.
>Today several industry leaders are taking major steps in this
>direction. I'm pleased to announce first that Netscape Communications
>has committed to add family-friendly controls to the next release of
>its popular Internet browser. Parents who use the Netscape browser to
>explore the Internet will be able to tell the browser precisely what
>types of materials they do not wish their children to see. Microsoft,
>which also offers a popular Internet browser, has already incorporated
>this technology.
>Therefore, with Netscape's pledge today, we now have assurance that 90
>percent of all software used to explore the Internet will have
>family-friendly controls built right in. It's also important to note
>that all of the major companies that offer Internet service now
>provide some form of family-friendly controls. And I commend all of
>them for that.
>For these controls to work to their full potential, we also need to
>encourage every Internet site, whether or not it has material harmful
>for young people, to label its own content as the Vice President
>described just a few moments ago. To help to speed the labeling
>process along, several Internet search engines -- the Yellow Pages of
>cyberspace, if you will -- will begin to ask that all Web sites label
>content when applying for a spot in their directories.
>I want to thank Yahoo, Excite and Lycos for this important commitment.
>You're helping greatly to assure that self-labeling will become the
>standard practice. And that must be our objective.
>Beyond technology, we must have strict enforcement of existing laws --
>the anti-stalking, child pornography and obscenity laws as they apply
>to cyberspace. In the past three months alone, the FBI has expanded by
>50 percent the staff committed to investigating computer-related
>exploitation of minors, and established a task force to target
>computer child pornography and solicitation. In the past six months,
>the Department of Justice has increased the number of lawyers working
>in its Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section by 50 percent. We
>simply must not allow pornographers and pedophiles to exploit a
>wonderful medium to abuse our children.
>And, finally, we must recognize that in the end, the responsibility
>for our children's safety will rest largely with their parents.
>Cutting-edge technology and criminal prosecutions cannot substitute
>for responsible mothers and fathers. Parents must make the commitment
>to sit down with their children and learn together about the benefits
>and challenges of the Internet. And parents, now that the tools are
>available, will have to take upon themselves the responsibility of
>figuring out how to use them.
>I think it's fair to say that all parents will likely lag behind their
>children in facility on the Internet, but at least if we understand
>the tools that are available, it will be possible to do the
>responsible and correct thing.
>Thanks to the talents, to the creativity, to the commitments of so
>many of you assembled today, we have now, therefore, a road map toward
>constructive steps for a family-friendly Internet. There is still a
>lot to do. Parent groups and educators must work to help hone our
>labeling systems so that they will actually screen out materials we
>don't want our children to see and, as others have said today, with
>equal energy help to highlight the materials that serve our children
>best. That is very, very important.
>The Internet community must work to make these labels as common as
>food safety labels are today, to continue to expand access to
>family-friendly tools, including software to protect children's
>privacy from unscrupulous vendors.
>With a combination of technology, law enforcement and parental
>responsibilities, we have the best chance to ensure that the Internet
>will be both safe for our children and the greatest educational
>resource we have ever known. And that is our common commitment, and
>for that, I thank you all very much.
>(end transcript)

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Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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