Britain Goes Electronic with Signatures

July 26, 2000

Following on the heels of the United States, Britain legalized electronic signatures Tuesday, giving them the same status as hand-written signatures in an effort to boost the country’s e-commerce.

A second law will also make digitized certificates legally admissible in court. British officials lauded the Electronic Communications Act 2000, saying it would bring Britain closer to its aim of becoming a major e-commerce player. Under provisions of the law, which was signed by the Queen in May, electronic signatures and certificates supporting them can be used as court evidence, much the same as a hand-written signature.

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