The White House, Memorandum on Electronic Commerce (July 1, 1997) (full-text).
This Memorandum directed that executive department and agency heads should be guided in any future actions they take related to electronic commerce by the following principles:
- For electronic commerce to flourish, the private sector must lead. Therefore, the Federal Government should encourage industry self-regulation wherever appropriate and support private sector efforts to develop technology and practices that facilitate the growth and success of the Internet.
- Parties should be able to enter into legitimate agreements to buy and sell products and services across the Internet with minimal government involvement or intervention. Therefore, the Federal Government should refrain from imposing new and unnecessary regulations, bureaucratic procedures, or taxes and tariffs on commercial activities that take place on the Internet.
- In some areas, government involvement may prove necessary to facilitate electronic commerce and protect consumers. Where governmental involvement is necessary, its aim should be to support and enforce a predictable, consistent, and simple legal environment for commerce.
- The Federal Government should recognize the unique qualities of the Internet including its decentralized nature and its tradition of bottom-up governance. Existing laws and regulations that may hinder electronic commerce should be revised or eliminated consistent with the unique nature of the Internet.
- The Internet is emerging as a global marketplace. The legal framework supporting commercial transactions on the Internet should be governed by consistent principles across State, national, and international borders that lead to predictable results regardless of the jurisdiction in which a particular buyer or seller resides.