Commerce carried out through the internet has become a way of life among most members of the civil society
Commerce carried out through the internet has become a way of life among most members of the civil society. It offers a new means of purchasing and gives companies a wider scope with reference to reaching their respective target markets. However, with the promise of interactivity and connectivity, the world of e-commerce tends to intimate higher risks for the parties involved. Aside from the reliance to trust and confidence, the novelty of the process also invokes certain absences in legal protection as mandatory, propitiatory and even permissive legislation tend to vary from one regime to another. States of higher economies have already taken steps to establish a stable legal framework that will cover their respective jurisdictions. However, there are states that have yet to create a sensible set of rules that will govern over these online transactions. This is the case of Cybernetic, a diminutive oceanic island state. The following discussions will be dedicated entirely in giving material information on the possible course on which Cybernetic could undertake. In the same regard, discussions pertaining to certain jurisdictions and models of law with reference to other states and countries will be provided in order to present the available forms of legislation that Cybernetic could promulgate. Other than the texts of these mentioned legislations, the paper will also take into account scholarly articles that dealt with the issue of e-commerce with regards to the electronic contracts and authentication of electronic and digital signatures.
Ecommerce is broadly defined by Todd (2005, 3) as “any transaction involving goods or services where digital electronic communication performs an essential function.” The introduction of e-commerce in the realm of trade provides for a new means of business-to-business and business-to-consumer trading. (Holleyman 2000, 52) To date, the pioneers and the forerunners of this trading process have turned themselves into multimillion dollar firms. Companies like Amazon.com, Dell Computers, and Travelocity.com are among the highest earning companies that engage in e-commerce. (Holleyman 2000, 53) However, the subject of e-commerce is not limited to the scope of the market or the potential of immense profit. Like any other component of society, given that those that engage in these acts possess rights recognised by law, the acts connected to these processes are covered by the legal principles.
This part of the paper will highlight the determining element that sets e-commerce apart from traditional trading practices. To be more specific, the issue of security and the risk of deception are almost always at a heightened level. The work of Creed (2004, 141) pinpointed the root cause of this risk. Basically, in processes that involves online transaction, identity and identification raises inherent problems. Traditionally, these issues of identity and the need for identification are addressed by merely asking for a valid proof of identification. Passports and identification cards may suffice in instances of face-to-face transactions, but this is not the case in e-commerce. With the internet as its medium, the users on the other end of the line have limited capacity on verifying the identity of the other individual. Though developments have been made attempting to address this conundrum, there is still some significant level of risk present in the process. Discussions pertaining to these developments shall be given in the succeeding parts.
A. Online Contracts
B. The Need for Security
1. Electronic Signatures
2. Encryption (Digital Signatures)
III. Validity of Electronic Signatures
A. Cloud Corp. v. Hasbro Inc., 314 F.3d 289 (7th Cir. 2002)
B. Sea-Land Service, Inc. v. Lozen International, LLC, 285 F.3d 808; 2002 WL 496943 (9th Cir. 2002)
C. Moore v. Microsoft Corp., 741 N.Y.S.2d 91 (April 5, 2002)
IV. Models of Legislation
A. Utah Digital Signature Act 1995
B. UNCITRAL Model Law on Signatures 2001
C. The European Union Directive on a Community Framework for Electronic Signatures 1999
D. Electronic Communications Act 2000 (UK)
E. Electronic Signatures Regulation 2002 (UK)
V. Proposals for Cybernesia
A. Approaches Proposed
B. Added Recommendations