Clinton heeft zijn handtekening (geschreven en elektronisch) gezet onder het wetsvoorstel waarmee de electronische handtekening net zo rechtsgeldig is geworden als de geschreven variant. Verwacht wordt dat dit een zeer belangrijke stap is in het volwassen laten worden van de e-commerce:
"There is no doubt that this law has a huge potential for big companies to sell big ticket items online. What's not clear yet are the safety concerns," said David Butler of the Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports. "We would have liked to have seen more consumer protection in the law."
Instead of allowing secure cryptographic digital signatures, used by companies such as Verisign and PGP, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act instead allows companies to count touch-tones or perhaps clicking on hyperlinks as legally binding contracts. Secure digital signatures automatically become invalid when a contract or document is altered.
The phrase "digital signature" never appears in the law. Electronic signature is vaguely defined as "an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract."
"The process of clicking now generates a legal relationship with a vendor, and can bind the consumer for categories of records," said William Simpson, a cryptographer who is active inside the Internet Engineering Task Force. "This gives legal weight to website product disclaimers, poor privacy practices, or installer shrink-wrap conditions, simply by making them available."
Lees voor het hele verhaal hier verder bij Wired.