Eliminating Barriers To Electronic Commerce While Protecting Consumers - June 30, 2000


Friday, June 30, 2000


June 30, 2000

"The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act will open up new frontiers of economic opportunity while protecting the rights of American consumers."

President Bill Clinton
Friday, June 30, 2000

Today, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, President Clinton signed S.761, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. This legislation will eliminate legal barriers to using electronic technology to sign contracts; give consumers the same protections while doing business on-line as they have on paper; and ensure that government agencies have authority to enforce the law. After the bill signing ceremony, the President demonstrated the new electronic signature technology that Americans will be able to use to sign legally binding contracts on-line.

THE BENEFITS OF E-COMMERCE. The U.S.has benefited dramatically from the onset of the digital age. But there are still barriers - especially legal uncertainty - to the use of technology for business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce. Under the legislation President Clinton signed today:

ELIMINATING LEGAL BARRIERS TO ELECTRONIC COMMERCE. Companies may be deterred from doing business on-line because of uncertainty about whether their on-line contracts will be legally enforceable. The law sometimes requires that contracts documents be written on paper and signed with pen-and-ink signatures, which can slow down the pace of business. The new law signed by President Clinton will overcome these barriers by:

PROVIDING CHOICE AND PROTECTION FOR CONSUMERS. In order to achieve the full potential of electronic commerce, consumers must have confidence that they have the same protections on-line as they have in the paper world. Today's law:

PROTECTING TAXPAYERS AND ENFORCING THE LAW. The government sometimes requires that companies keep or generate voluminous paper records documenting their transactions. Record retention serves an important public purpose by allowing agencies to monitor for compliance, protect taxpayers from fraud and abuse, and enforce the law. In many cases, these same goals can be met using digital technologies through:

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