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Internet Law & Policy Forum Publishes International Consensus Principles for Electronic Authentication

June 3, 1999
New York, USA and Montreal, Canada

The Internet Law & Policy Forum (ILPF) releases results of International Working Group on Electronic Authentication.

Recognizing the global implications of electronic commerce and the use of electronic authentication, the ILPF convened an International Working Group in Brussels on April 23, 1999, to discuss international consensus principles regarding electronic authentication. The working group, comprised of representatives from business, government, academia, intergovernmental organizations, and other legal experts, crafted a set of International Consensus Principles. The Principles will be presented to the OECD Workshop on Electronic Authentication at Stanford University on June 2-4, 1999.

The Principles promote: (1) removing legal barriers to electronic authentication; (2) freedom of parties to set the terms of authentication by contract subject only to compelling public policy interests; (3) harmonization of the global legal framework applicable to authentication; (4) achieving technological neutrality; and, (5) allowing the marketplace to drive improvements in electronic authentication technologies and services.

"Electronic signatures are absolutely fundamental to e commerce." explained Masanobu Katoh, Chairman of ILPF and General Manager of Fujitsu Limited, Washington, D.C. Mr. Katoh, who will present the Principles to the OECD, continued: "In order to recognize the full potential of e commerce, users must be able to rely on electronic signatures as they rely on a traditional signature. At the same time, providers of electronic authentication technologies and services need a market-driven, predictable yet flexible global legal framework."

"This consensus-driven working group process is unique among associations. It furthers an increased understanding among international participants. We think that the working group dialogue can be as important as the resulting high level principles," stated Ruth Day, Executive Director of the ILPF.

The International Consensus Principles, including a list of participants and other materials relating to electronic authentication, are available at the ILPF's web site, http://www.ilpf.org. The ILPF encourages public comment.

The ILPF is an international, non-profit organization established in 1995 by companies with a common interest in fostering the growth of electronic commerce and communications worldwide. ILPF, the voice and resource of the practicing Internet business lawyer, strives to bridge the gap between existing law and the development of a global electronic network by examining the global legal and policy implications of electronic commerce. Its members include twenty-five companies, many of them global, with a stake in the growth of electronic commerce and communications.

Press Contact:
Ruth Day, Executive Director, ILPF
+1.212.447.4809 rday@ilpf.org

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