President Clinton and Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern are set to make digital history this Friday when they will sign a joint agreement on Internet based electronic commerce using electronic signatures rather than traditional pens.
The event is scheduled to take place at PC maker Gateway 2000?s Dublin headquarters. A spokesperson for the company confirmed to Newswire that the event is scheduled, but declined to comment further due to White House security issues surrounding the US President?s visit to Ireland.
The agreement is expected to further underline both countries commitment to the rapid development of ecommerce. The US government hopes the electronic signing will put a rubber stamp on the technology as being a secure and reliable means of guaranteeing identity.
The Clinton administration have been putting serious weight behind ecommerce over the past months, pushing for a commitment from the World Trade Organisation to make Internet transactions a tax free zone. Ireland meanwhile is looking to play a pivotol role in ecommerce in Europe.
Electronic authentication of identiy has yet to be firmly accepted in the commercial and legal fields. Email is not a secure way of guaranteeing the identity of an individual sending a document. For ecommerce to establish itself it is essential it is verifiable and recognised legally.
Right now international law does not recognise electronic signatures. Both Clinton and Ahern believe this historic signature will herald a tide of change.
Irish encryption and autentication software company Baltimore Technologies is likely to supply the electronic signature technology to be used in the official signing.
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