E-Sign Act Validates Digital Signatures

WASHINGTON (07/05/2000) - U.S. President Bill Clinton on Friday signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, or E-Sign, using the first digital certificate from the U.S. General Services Administration.

Under the act, online and electronic contracts signed in the private sector with an electronic signature will have the same legal force as paper contract.

Agencies already are using electronic signatures under the authority of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act of 1999.

The certificate used by Clinton is the first operational certificate issued on the GSA Access Certificates for Electronic Services contract. That contract is intended to provide a governmentwide vehicle for agencies to use and implement digital certificates for their online services.

"The electronic signature capability demonstrated here today is a critical component in realizing our e-government goals," said GSA Administrator David Barram on Friday.

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