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Presidential Directive on Electronic Commerce

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Citation Edit

Presidential Directive on Electronic Commerce (July 1, 1997) (full-text).

Overview Edit

The Directive was designed to implement the strategy laid out in A Framework for Global Electronic Commerce. President Clinton assigned thirteen specific tasks to various Cabinet agencies, some to be achieved within a year and some by January 1, 2000. These tasks were:

1. I direct the U.S. Trade Representative to work with foreign governments to secure agreement within the next 12 months that all products and services delivered across the Internet will not be subject to tariffs and that all equipment from which the Internet is built will also not be subject to tariffs.
2. I direct the U.S. Trade Representative to work with foreign governments to enforce existing agreements and secure new agreements to make electronic commerce a seamless global marketplace. This will include enforcing provisions of the recently concluded World Trade Organization (WTO) Telecommunications Services Agreement; ensuring that product testing, certification, and approval processes do not unnecessarily restrict trade; ensuring that service providers have nondiscriminatory access to customers worldwide; and other measures that ensure a free flow of commerce.
3. I direct the Secretary of Commerce to seek the protection of copyright in the digital environment by working to achieve ratification in the United States and overseas within the next 12 months of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.
4. I direct the Secretary of Commerce to update and make more efficient our system for protecting patentable innovations to meet the needs of the fast-moving electronic age and to seek agreements with other governments to protect patentable innovations worldwide.
5. I direct the Secretary of Commerce to support efforts to make the governance of the domain name system private and competitive and to create a contractually based self-regulatory regime that deals with potential conflicts between domain name usage and trademark laws on a global basis.
6. I direct the Secretary of the Treasury to work with State and local governments and with foreign governments to achieve agreements that will ensure that no new taxes are imposed that discriminate against Internet commerce; that existing taxes should be applied in ways that avoid inconsistent national tax jurisdictions and double taxation; and that tax systems treat economically similar transactions equally, regardless of whether such transactions occur through electronic means or through more conventional channels of commerce.
7. I direct the Secretary of Commerce to work with the private sector, State and local governments, and foreign governments to support the development, both domestically and internationally, of a uniform commercial legal framework that recognizes, facilitates, and enforces electronic transactions worldwide. I further direct the Secretary of Commerce within the next 12 months to seek to gain agreement with the private sector, State and local governments, and foreign governments, both domestically and internationally, on common approaches for authentication of electronic transactions through technologies such as digital signatures.
8. I direct the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to encourage private industry and privacy advocacy groups to develop and adopt within the next 12 months effective codes of conduct, industry developed rules, and technological solutions to protect privacy on the Internet consistent with the Privacy Principles issued by the Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF) Privacy Working Group. I further direct the Director of the OMB to develop recommendations on the appropriate role of government consistent with "A Framework for Global Electronic Commerce." I further direct the Secretary and the Director to ensure that means are developed to protect the privacy of children.
9. I direct the Secretary of Commerce to encourage the development and adoption within the next 12 months by industry of easy to use and effective rating systems and filtering technologies that empower parents, teachers, and other Internet users to block content that is inappropriate for children.
10. I direct the Secretary of Commerce to support private sector development of technical standards for the Internet and the U.S. Trade Representative to oppose efforts by foreign governments to impose standards or to use standards for electronic commerce as non-tariff trade barriers.
11. I direct the Secretary of the Treasury to cooperate with foreign governments to monitor newly developing experiments in electronic payment systems; to oppose attempts by governments to establish inflexible and highly prescriptive regulations and rules that might inhibit the development of new systems for electronic payment; and as electronic payment systems develop, to work closely with the private sector in order to keep apprised about policy development and ensure that governmental activities flexibly accommodate the needs of the emerging marketplace.
12. I direct all executive departments and agencies to promote efforts domestically and internationally to make the Internet a secure environment for commerce. This includes ensuring secure and reliable telecommunications networks; ensuring an effective means for protecting the information systems attached to those networks; ensuring an effective means for authenticating and guaranteeing confidentiality of electronic information to protect data from unauthorized use; and providing information so that Internet users become well-trained and understand how to protect their systems and their data.
13. I direct the Administrator of General Services to move the Federal Government into the age of electronic commerce by expanding "GSA Advantage," its online shopping service for the Federal community to cover four million items by 12 months from now.

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