For decades, Al Gore has worked to lead America into the Information Age by
focusing on crucial technological challenges for the 21st Century: targeted
investments in new technology to create jobs and economic growth; harnessing
new technology to improve the delivery of health care, education, and basic
government services across America; and making sure that as we invest in the
newest technology, we also maintain and strengthen our oldest values, such as
privacy and the ability of parents to protect their children from
inappropriate content on-line.
Since his days in the House and Senate, Gore has been an early leader on
cutting-edge technological issues. As a member of Congress, he popularized
the term "information superhighway," and he later introduced legislation to
invest in the research networks that led to today's Internet. In 1984, he
introduced early legislation to help develop high-quality educational
Creating jobs through investments in new technology:
As Vice President, Gore has been a leader in fighting for targeted
investments that make our economy more innovative and create high-paying
jobs. He has worked to promote the explosive growth of global electronic
commerce -- which is expected to grow to more than $300 billion in just a few
years and triple the number of people who can support their families because
they can reach world markets through the Internet. He has fought for targeted
tax credits for research and development, and long-term information
technology research, to help create the jobs of the 21st Century. He worked
to support the development of the Next Generation Internet, moving 1,000
times faster than today's, which holds the potential to revolutionize many
Improving health care, education, and basic services through technology:
Al Gore has also focused on
using new technology to improve people's lives. Together with President Clinton, he set a national goal of
connecting every classroom and library in the United States to the Internet
-- and fought for the passage of deep discounts to make Internet access
affordable for the every school and library in the nation. Already, we are
halfway toward achieving that goal. Al Gore is working toward a 21st Century
where a child can reach across a computer keyboard and read any book ever
written, see any painting ever painted, and hear any symphony ever composed.
Al Gore has worked to expand such innovations as distance
learning and telemedicine -- to make health care and education more
accessible to rural and hard-to-reach communities, and to the homebound.
Through his Reinventing Government initiative, Gore has also
put critical government services on-line -- so services such as help in starting small businesses
and information about job training are available where they are more accessible to all.
To expand technology's worldwide potential as a force for good, Al Gore has advanced a bold vision for a new Global Information
Infrastructure -- a network of networks that sends messages and images at the
speed of light, across every continent -- to expand access to phone service
and communications, further improve the delivery of education and health
care, and create new jobs and industries.
Technology and values -- the Electronic Bill of Rights:
Throughout his career, Al Gore has realized that as our science
and technology advance -- sometimes faster than we can even comprehend -- we
must work especially hard to protect our oldest and most cherished values.
That is why, while supporting the completion of the Human Genome Project, he
has also championed legislation to ban genetic discrimination. While fighting
to expand Internet access, he has led the Administration's efforts to give
parents, schools, and communities effective tools to protect children from
inappropriate content on-line.
In particular, Al Gore has focused on the challenge of protecting
personal privacy on-line -- the medical and financial information that can
too easily be intercepted and abused by others. That is why he has called for
an Electronic Bill of Rights for this electronic age. It includes the right
to choose whether personal information is disclosed; the right to know how,
when, and how much of that information is being used; the right to see it
yourself; and the right to know if it's accurate.
"More than any other time in our history," says Gore, "the
promise of new discovery and new technology has made it possible to renew and
strengthen our oldest and most cherished values. As we move into a new
century and a new millennium, let us take that same sense of wonder, that
same sense of discovery, and that same sense of courage to make real the
values that more than twenty centuries of human evolution have aspired to
create -- to promote freedom, to educate our children, and to lift our
families and our nations up."
Click here to read Al Gore's commencement address at NYU.
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