E-Commerce Law Gets Clinton's Signature ? Digitally

E-Commerce Law Gets Clinton's Signature ? Digitally<CR><LF>

By Jennifer Freer, Staff Writer

JULY 5 ? President Clinton signed new electronic commerce legislation using electronic digital signature technology powered by Access Certificates for Electronic Services, a General Services Administration program.

At a June 30 ceremony conducted at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Clinton used a smart card containing his personal digital signature provided by ACES to sign the legislation digitally. It is the first time a U.S. president has used this technology to sign legislation.

ACES is a joint venture between GSA's Federal Technology Service and its Office of Governmentwide Policy that allows multiple-award schedule contracts providing identification and authentication by using digital signature technology. ACES allows individuals and businesses to be authenticated when accessing, retrieving and submitting government information. ACES also will help agencies comply with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act.

Three industry partners are providing the services for the ACES program. They are Digital Signature Trust Co., Salt Lake City; Operational Research Consultants Inc., Chesapeake, Va.; and AT&T Corp., Basking Ridge, N.J. Financial terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

"The electronic signature capability demonstrated is a critical component in realizing our e-government goals," said David Barram, GSA administrator. Digital signature technology is viewed by government and the industry as a way to eliminate costly and inefficient paper processes, while also reducing the risks associated with doing business via the Internet.

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