Clinton estimated that 4 million American families would use the Internet for the first time this year to buy holiday gifts — including his own. "I intend to join them because online shopping has significant benefits, not just for consumers and large established retailers... Online commerce also opens a world of opportunity for local artisans and small entrepreneurs." The White House cited further projections that Internet shopping would total as much as $9.5 billion this holiday season and could exceed $1.4 trillion by 2003. MORE >>
President Clinton used his weekly radio address — itself once a high-tech innovation for FDR, and now available online in text and RealAudio — to lead the Internet shopping charge over the weekend. Speaking Saturday, Clinton celebrated e-commerce, saying he would be buying online for the holidays, while also cautioning consumers to take "basic precautions" while using the computer to shop.