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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release October 20, 1994
        Internet Service on White House, Administration Provides 
                   Multimedia Electronic Information

In an effort to make government information more readily accessible to citizens across the country, Vice President Gore, joined by Associate Director for Techology in the Office of Science and Technology Policy Lionel S. (Skip) Johns and world-renowned artist Peter Max, today unveiled the first interactive, multimedia, electronic citizens' handbook on the White House, including detailed information about Cabinet-level and independent agencies, and information about the First Family and the White House.

"This first-of-its-kind program is an electronic roadmap to the federal government -- a place on the information superhighway where people can get needed information about government services and where they can provide immediate feedback to the President," Vice President Gore said.

"Welcome to the White House: An Interactive Citizens' Handbook" provides a single point of access to all electronic government information on the Internet, a vast electronic computer network used by people in more than 150 countries. Examples of accessible material demonstrated at today's event include information about the President and Vice President and their families, a virtual tour of the White House, detailed information about Cabinet-level and independent agencies, a subject-searchable index of federal information, and a map of Washington, D.C.

By using free software such as Mosaic, developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, a person can access this information through a multimedia interface which includes photographs, audio, and "hotlinks" in the text that take the user to related areas of interest. It also is accessible by individuals who are hearing or sight-impaired through the use of Lynx, special software developed by the University of Kansas. For those individuals without a computer, the information will be accessible through public libraries, designated businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, universities, and museums.

The service promotes interaction and participation between citizens and their federal government. It is part of President Clinton and Vice President Gore's vision to create a National Information Infrastructure -- a seamless web of communications networks that will forever change the way we live, learn, work and communicate with each other.

"Welcome to the White House" can be accessed at: