European encryption experts, meeting in Copenhagen this week, will take a major step towards clarifying European Union policy on cryptography and digital signatures.
Following last year's European Commission document, 'Ensuring trust and confidence in electronic communications', the expert's hearing will look at the development and use of digital signatures and encryption.
"The hearing will bring together academics, industry experts and policy makers from across Europe with the aim of stimulating as broad as debate as possible. The goal is not to reach a formal statement, but to share views and explore solutions," a Commission spokesman said.
The two-day hearing will investigate subjects such as global market trends in cryptography products, the state of the European cryptography industry and law enforcement.
Danish Euro MP Lone Dybkjaer said the hearing will also focus on specific questions relating to the authenticity and integrity of data, as well as tools to protect privacy.
Dybkjaer said the debate on when, and in what form, a digital signature was a legitimate substitute for a traditional signature was already underway in Denmark.
"We have been looking at minimum requirements for digital signatures so that they can be accepted instead of an ink signature. The hearing will be an opportunity to do this at a European level," she said.
The hearing, which is scheduled to take place on 23-24 April, has been organised by the Danish government and the EC.
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