What does "white papers" mean? This could be British that hasn't percolated down to the big ex-colony.

See white paper. In the softare industry white books/papers mostly describe technical features of a product and how those could be used to solve some common problems, for marketing purposes (but targeted at technical experts). IBM, for example, has published a bunch of papers called "white paper" (I'd conclude that it is not a Britsh term). IBM also has red books, for example, which are hands-on instructions for actually installing and using their products.

(No surreptitious advertising intended.)